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OfiWNATORS OF RAOLO HOMt-STUDY TWINING 





MAGAZINF 

OF 

SCIENTIFICTION 

HUGO GERNSBACK, Editor 
DR. T. O'CONOR SLOANE, Ph.D. ; Associate Editor 
WILBUR C. WHITEHEAD, Literary Editor j: 
C. A. BRANDT, Literary Editor ' /' 

Editorial and General Office?: 53 Park Place, New Vorl;, N. Y. 



Extravagant Fiction Today ------- Cold Fact Tomorrow 

FICTION VERSUS FACTS 

By HUGO GERNSBACK 




j| FEW letters have come to the Editor's desk 
from some readers who wish to know what 
prompts us to so frequently preface our stor- 
ies in our introductory remarks with the state- 
ment that this or that scieniilk plot is not 
impossible, hut quite' probable. 

These readers seem to have the idea that we try to impress 
our friends with the fact that whatever is printed in Amaz- 
.t lv«; Stories is mil necessarily pure fiction, but could or can 
be fact. 

That impression is quite correct. We DO wish to do so, 
and have tried to do so ever since we started Amazing 
Stories. As a matter of fact, our editorial policy is built 
upon this structure and will be so continued indefinitely. 

The reason is quite simple. The human mind, not only of 
today, but of ten thousand years ago also is and was so con- 
stituted that being merged into the present if can sec neither 
the past nor the future clearly. If only five hundred years 
ago (or little more than ten generations), which is not a 
long" time as human progress goes, anyone had come along 
with a story wherein radio telephone, sii-am-.hips, airplanes, 
electricity, painless surgery, the phonograph, and a few other 
modern marvels were (Inscribed, he would prohably have been 
promptly flung into a dungeon. 

All these things sounded preposterous and the height 
of nonsense even as little as one hundred years ago, 
and, Io and behold! within two generations we take these 
marvels and miracles as everyday occurrences, and do not 
get in the least excited when we read of recent reports 
' that it will be possible, within a year or less, to see as well 
as hear your sweetheart a thousand miles away, without 
intervening wires or connections of any sort. 

So when we do read one of these to us "impossible" tales, 
in Amazing Stories, we may be almost certain that the 
"impossihiliiy" will have become a fact perhaps before an- 
other generation — if not much sooner. It is most unwise 
in this age to declare anyfhinjx impossible, bucause you may 
never be sure but that even while you are talking it has 
already become a reality. Many things in the past which 
were declared impossible, are of everyday occurrence now. 

There are few stories published in this magazine that 
can be called outright impossible. As a matter of fact, in 
selecting our stories we always consider their possibility. 
We reject stories often on the ground that; in our opinion, 
the plot or action is not in keeping with se'ence as we know 
it today. For instance, when we see a plot wherein the hero 
is turned into ■ a tree, later on into a stone, and then again 
back to himself, we do not consider this science, but, rather, 
a fairy tale, and such stories have no place in Amazing 
Stohies. 
■ Of course once in a great while 



liberties, as happened, for instance, in the conclusion of 
"A Trip to the Center of the Earth," printed in this Issue. 

Jules Verne b-'uii.L.hf b.Lck his heroes in ;i most improbable 
manner. But this one defect does not detract from the story 
as a whole, throughout which good science is maintained. 
It is only when the entire plot becomes frankly impossible, 
or far too improbable, that we draw the line. 

And It should never be forgotten that the educational 
value of the scientific! ion type oE story is tremendous. 

Mr. G. Peyton Wcrtciibaker, author of "The Man from 
the Atom," says this on the same subject: 

"Amazing Stohies should appeal, however, to quite a dif- 
ferent public (referring to the sex- type of literature). 
Scientifiction is a branch of literature which requires more 
intelligence and even more [esthetic Sense than is possessed 
by the sex-type reading public. It is designed to reach those 
qualities of the mind which are aroused only by things vast, 
things cataclysmic, and things tinfathoraably strange. It is 
designed to reach that portion of the imagination which 
grasps with its eager, feeble talons after the unknown. It 
should be an influence greater than the influence of any 
literature I know upon the restless ambition of man for 
further conquests, further understandings. Literature of the 
past and the present has made the mystery of man and his 
world more clear to us, and for [hat reason it has been less 
beautiful, for beauty lies only in the things that are mysteri- 
ous. Beauty is a groping of the emotions towards rcaliza--^ 
tion of things which may be unknown only to the intellect. 

"Scientifiction goes out Into the remote vistas of the uni- ■ 
verse, where there is still mystery and so still beauty. For 
that reason scientifiction seems to me to Be the true literature 
of the future. 

"The danger that may lie before Amazing Stories is that 
of becoming too scientific and not sufficiently literary. It 
is yet too early to be sure, but not too early for a warning 
to he issued amicably and frankly. 

"It Is hard to make an actual measure, of course, for the 
determination of the correct amount of science, but the 
[esthetic instinct: can judge. I can only point out as a model 
the works of Mr. H. G. Wells, who hits instinctively recog- 
nized, in his stories, the correct proportions of fiction, fact, 
and science. This has been possible only because Mr. Wells 
is a literary artist above everything, rather than predomin- 
antly a scientist. If he were a scientist, his taste and sense 
would permit him only to write books of scientific research. 
Since he is an artist, he has given us the first truly beautiful 
work in this new field of literature." 

These opinions, we believe, state the case clearly. If we 
may voice our own opinion we should say that the ideal pro- 
portion of a scientifiction sK>rv slumlr, [»■- seventy-five per cent 



author may take some literature interwoven with twenty-five per c 

291 



StmionX 



®. 



if G.McLem 




plain!/ Visible from your earth, eland Jo Uiis day, in jthdr roofiei 

222 



STATION X 



293 



CHAPTER I 
The New Post 



wi 



IB^^^^^IS Alan Macrae watched the last hues of 
sunset from Plymouth Hoe pale 
L^^^^fiM over Mount Edgcumbe, he stood out in 
pSp5K«tl marked contrast to the stolid West 
l L^&aSg jj| Country types around him. His tall 
loose-limbed figure, his brooding gaze, his nervous 
highly-strung maimer, marked him as a stranger. A 
touch on the arm recalled him from his apparently 
sombre thoughts — the touch of a girl who had ap- 
proached him unobserved. 

At the sight of her his melancholy vanished. 

"I'm so sorry I'm late, Alan," she cried gaily, "but 
the manager had a fit." 

"4 fit?" questioned Macrae. 

'TfiS, of work," exclaimed the girl: "and he kept 
m&wgomg letters, quite indifferent to the fact that 
this is our last night together. Let's walk, shall 
we?" 

Aa they walked slowly along the Hoe, the con- 
trast between the two was remarkable. The brisk 
alertness of May Treherne seemed to accentuate 
her companion's moodiness and psychic gloom. 

They had been engaged for a year, and were 
waiting only for Fortune to smile upon them to 
get married. As May had expressed it, "Bread and 
cheese and love are all right; but you must be sure 
of the bread and cheese." 

Macrae had by sneer 
merit obtained an ap- ir^wWii>>riiH iB iTiBi im mTii 
p ointment at "a foreign 
radio station." That was 
ail he knew, beyond the 
-■fast that the salary was a 
handsome one,. On the 
morrow he was to start 
for his unknown destina- 
tion, where for a period 
of six months he would 
be lost to the world. He 
would be allowed neither 
to send nor to receive 
letters, and was sworn to 
divulge nothing as to 
where he had been or 
upon what engaged. 

"Perhaps I've been a 
fool to take the post," he 
said, looking down at his 
companion with pessimis- 
tic eyes. 

"That's not flattering, 
Alan," said the girl gaily, 
determined to cheer him 
out of his gloomy mood. 
"You did it so that we 
could " She paused. tm^e.mautMimimii mi^m. 

"Get married," he con- 
cluded the sentence for her. "Yes, I know; but 
think of six months without you, in a place that I 
know nothing about." 

"Cheer up, Alan!" cried May brightly. "It'll soon 
pass. It was splendid of you to accept it. I'm tired 
of Sales, Limited, and still more tired of its iran- 
ager. He's such a moth-eaten little worm." 



ire beginning in this issue, STATION X, which 
consider by far the greatest radio story that was 
ever written. At least we have never read or seen a belter 
one. Lest you believe that it is impossible for one being 
to interchange his mind with that of another and thereby 
control him physically, please consider the following; 

In 1923 the publishers of this magazine, m conjunction 
with Station WHN, of New York City, then healed at 
Ridgewood, L. L, and Mr. Joseph H. Dunninger, per- 
formed the following experiment: 

On the morning of July 14, 1923, a subject was placed 
in front of the loud speaker in RADIO NEWS LABO- 
RATORIES at S3 Park Place, New York City, Mr, 
Dunninger was at the broadcast station WHN, and by 
commanding ' the subject, a young man, Mr. Leslie B. 
Duncan, to fall asleep, he impressed his will upon the sub- 
ject, from a distance of over fifteen miles, until the latter 
fell into a hypnotic trance., . 

The subject was examined by over twelve newspaper 
reporters assembled at 53 Park Place. Long needles 
were stuck through the subject's arm, {drawing no blood) 
and then Dunninger, from a distance, commanded Duncan 

fall into a cataleptic stale, which prevailed for abput 
hour. The subject finally was brought again to 
His senses by Mr. Dunninger's commiii\ds issuing out of 
the loud speaker. 

Hypnotising by raaio was therefore proclaimed a suc- 
cess. A full accon if of the experiment may be found in 
the September, 1923, issue of SCIENCE AND INVEN- 
TION. 



"Well, yes, you are right. May. The time will seem 
long, no doubt; but as it carries double pay I ought 
not to grumble." He smiled down at her, adding, 
"That it will bring a certain day nearer is the best 
part of it." 

"Meanwhile," said May, "I shall picture you lead- 
ing a sort of lighthouse existence, and in off-duty 
momenta thinking about me." As she spoke her 
eyes-rested on the beam of Eddystone, which the 
gathering darkness already made plainly visible off . 
the Cornish coast. 

Discussing the Dangers at Station X 
(( "\7"0U are right! On duty and off, my thoughts 
Y will run pretty much on you, dear," he 
A said. 
^Now, Alan, tell me why you aren't, or should I 
say weren't, a bit cheerful this evening. It's a com- 
pliment, of course, but is there anything that's 
worrying you?" She looked up'at him inquiringly. 

"1 suppose I've got the blues. I find myself op- 
pressed with the feeling that something is going to 
happen. I can't tell what, but I fee! that the future 
holds something dark and horrible." 

"Tell me, Alan, dear, do you know of anything in 
your coming duties that suggests danger to you? 
Will you be among savages? Has anything hap- 
pened to any one at the post? Or is it only just a 
feeling?" 
"It rests on nothing, but-^ — " 

"Then for goodness 
'sake, my dear boy, don't 
(worry yourself about 
nothing," said May, with 
relief. "Here," wheeling 
him around, "let us face 
the wind, and it will blow 
such cobwebs out of your 



half a 



i She cast about in her 
mind how to hearten her 
lover, ar,'<Mier eye caught 
sight of the statue of Sir 
Francis Drake. 

"Did you ever hear of 
Drake, Alan?" she asked, 
thinking it possible that 
he might not, knowing his 
educational shortcomings, 
for which she had decided 
that the future should yet 
make amends. 

As they approached the 
statue, she told hin -about 
Drake and that immortal 
game her favorite hero 
had played c^f this spot, 

of the threatening danger, 

MWg»ww?MgB»7i«tiaaBaii!fl and how the great De- 
vonian refused to let the 
breathless messenger worry or even hurry him. 

The Celt, ever quick of apprehension and self- 
application, had no need for the point to be 
labored. 

"Different men have different natures," said 
Macrae, in a restrained voice. "It does not * ''■w 
that any one kind has all ths courage. It is 



294 



AMAZING STORIES 



me to say if I would also have done my duty then, 
but this I know, I would not have been able to 
finish that game of bowls. It's all a question of 
nerves. As to the other matter, I knew you would 
not understand. You are a town girl, and I am from 
the lonely glen. There are some things that are only 
to be felt. The forest, the stream, the rocks and the 
mountain, can teach something to a child that can- 
not be learned later. It's a sort of sixth sense. Some 
of us have it. I don't claim to, myself, yet I feel 
the approach of a cloud. As a boy I loved to 
wander alone, listen to the roaring torrent, climb 
the steep precipices of the mountain-side, and often 
when up at cloud level, I have watched a great fleecy 
mass approaching, slowly while in the distance, but 
seemingly faster and faster as it came near. Then 
suddenly it would swallow me up. Weil, dearest May, 
there is a cloud approaching now that is destined to 
swallow me up; no light and fleecy mass, but dark 
and terrible, full of lightnings and of danger, and I 
do not see myself liberated from its embrace." 

A Great Opportunity 
" A LAN, dear, do not keep anything from me. 
/j& If you know anything dangerous conneet- 

J. \. ed with your new post, tell it to me. You 
say you value this opportunity because it brings a 
certain day nearer. As you are going away, I'll con- 
fess that it is for the same reason I too value it. 
When your position is established, we can be so 
happy together. At present, as you know, I am any- 
thing but that. Yet, I would far rather you threw 
it all up if there is any special danger." 

"If there is, I know nothing about it," he replied, 
with a, smile. "Unfortunately, you discovered my 
mood, and made me tell you of this impression, 
which really rests on nothing. But," he added 
hastily, "let's talk of other things." 

May sighed as she recognized it would be use- 
less to say more on the subject. She knew Macrae's 
highly-strung nervous temperament, but also that 
in all circumstances he would be sure to do his duty. 
She could not understand his forebodings; but 
recognizing that the moment of parting was draw- 
ing near, she allowed the subject to drop. 

Alan Macrae had' been a poor, half-starved youth 
from the Highlands, who had by mere chance been 
engaged in an unskilled capacity at the Marconi sta- 
tion of wireless telephony that the Government had 
established on the north-east coast of Scotland. 
He had shown such willingness, industry and inter- 
est in the working of the station, that opportunity 
had been-given him to acquire further knowledge 
of it. The advantage he took of this was so satis- 
factory that he had been given every encouragement 
and chance to perfect himself. After some years, 
he had became one of the most competent wireless 
electricians on Marconi's staff, A chance discovery 
had then caused his transference to Poldhu in Corn- 
wall. 

When radio telephony was in its infancy it was 
no easy matter to catch the words, and acute hear- 
ing was absolutely necessary to the operator. To a 
certain extent it still is, for there is alwaj's a zone 
surrounding any station, near the limit of audibility, 
wb"re acuteness of hearing makes all the difference 
'en the possibility and impossibility of com- 
tion. It wa3 f ound that Macrae's endow- 



ment in this respect was little short of phenomenal, 
and this it was that caused him to be sent to the 
Cornish station used for transatlantic messages. 
Later it had been one of the reasons, combined with 
his steadiness and competence, that had caused him 
to be selected for this mysterious Government ap- 
pointment. 

When the moment approached for going on board 
the cruiser that was to transport him to his un- 
known destination, May Treherne, principally for 
the sake of filling some of the unoccupied time that 
she feared would hang heavily on his hands, asked 
him to keep a diary, so that she might at some fu- 
ture time have the pleasure of reading it. This he 
promised to do, and after a tender parting he strode 
rapidly off in the direction of where the cruiser's 
boat was awaiting him. -*\ 

Starting for Station X 

THAT night he reported himself to Captain 
Evered of H.M.S. Sagitta, where he made the 
acquaintance of Lieutenant Wilson, who would 
be in command of Station X, to which Macrae was 
going. Knowing how much they would be thrown to- 
gether, Captain Evered was anxious that these two 
should make a mutually favorable impression upon 
each other; but his instinct told him from the first 
that such was far from being the case. Wilson, iff 
speaking to hi3 brother officers that night, made no 
secret of his dismay. 

"This is rough luck," said he, "to be boxed up 
for six months with that miserable mechanic !" 

For his. part, Macrae said nothing, but felt in- 
stinctively the complete lack of sympathy between 
him and his future superior. It wa3 only after mak- 
ing Lieutenant Wilson's acquaintance that he real- . 
ized the isolation of the past to which he was go- 
ing. He felt no resentment against Wilson for what 
he recognized was a mutual misfortune — that they 
could never be companions, and he saw that one of 
the chief reasons was his own lack of education. 

Captain Evered found an early opportunity of 
taking Wilson to task, and of giving him some sound 
advice, pointing out the bearings of the thing from 
the Government's point of view, the responsibility 
of his post, and the desirability of cultivating good 
relations with his companion who had had less ad- 
vantages than himself, etc., etc. He nevertheless 
came to the conclusion, long before the voyage was 
over, that they were as ill-assorted a pair as he had 
ever seen. 

The voyage was uneventful. In the Indian Ocean, 
they picked up from another cruiser, a Hong-Kong 
Chiiaman, a quiet methodical sort of creature, who 
had" been engaged to act as servant at the station. 

The, otherwise nameless islet, known to the ad- 
miralty as Station X, wa3 made on the morning of 
September 7. A short time sufficed for the landing 
of the new staff and stores, and the taking on 
board of those relieved. Before the new trio had 
realized the strangeness of their position, the 
Sagitta, that greyhound of the waters, had disap- 
peared below the horizon. One of the first things, 
however, that Lieutenant Wilson did realize after 
taking command was that Macrae, whatever his 
social shortcomings, was a most intelligent and 
thoroughly competent "wireless" engineer and op- 
erator. 



STATION X 



295 



CHAPTER II 
Macrae's Forebodings Realized 



A MONTH passed, during which Captain Ever- 
ed's forebodings as to the lack of sympathy 
between Wilson and Macrae were thoroughly 
realised. Upon Macrae, who had been accustomed 
from hia childhood to solitude, the effect was not 
marked; but with Lieutenant Wilson it was differ- 
ent. He grew irritable, unreasonable, and almost 
morose. His victim was the Chinaman, Ling, upon 
whom he seemed to take a savage pleasure in vent- 
ing his spleen. 

When off duty, Macrae would wander off to the 
cliff, and there, for hour after hour, would sit 
brooding or writing up the diary that May Treherne, 
with remarkable foresight, had urged him to keep. 
His earlier entries were devoted to a description of 
jnany. incidents of the voyage, and the hundred and 
one impressions made on a peculiarly receptive 
mind- 
He found in the diary a new medium of expres- 
sion, a relief from the brooding of his boyhood. At 
first he discovered great difficulty in expressing 
himself, but gradually found himself writing with 
increasing ease and facility. One day, on looking 
back through the earlier pages, he was surprised 
to find how awkwardly they read. He realised that 
they did not well represent or reflect his life. He 
knew that he could now do- it better. He decided to 
begin again, and, now that he was more accustomed 
to expressing himself in writing, to give a descrip- 
tion of his life at Station X. 

Diary of Life at Station X 
■*** v 5th October. 

YOU can scarcely realize the task you set me— = 
I mean, its difficulty — when you asked me to 
keep a diary. It is a great pleasure, as noth- 
ing calls up your sweet face so clearly as writing to 
you all that is in my mind. It is the next best thing 
to speaking to you. I have already told you that I 
am forbidden to tell of the place or of my duties. 
They are very light, although of the utmost import- 
ance in these times. As a soldier would put it, we 
are a reserve rather than an active force, liable to 
be called upon, but, for an important reason, used as 
little as possible. We interchange a daily word or 
two to see that we are in working order. 

I am afraid you will find this diary uninteresting 
sometimes, but you will know that I have some ex- 
cuse. Even the weather is uneventful here. How 
little we know at home how wearisome and monoton- 
ous perpetual blue skies can he! § 

During the long hours off duty, I sit hef.e in this 
loftiest nook on the cliff overlooking the ocean, 
writing to you, dozing, or looking out over the limit- 
less expanse of waters. The long slow swell seems 
to move like enchanted waves, until my own 
thoughts too seemed lulled to harmony with 'their 
changeless rhythm. It is just in such moments that 
the ominous impression of the approach of that 
shadow I spoke to you about seems to become more 
real. 

I have learned here that the feeling of isolation, 
when confined with an uncongenial companion, is 
more oppressive than if I were entirely alone. How 



different things would be if only Lieutenant Wilson 
were a different sort of man. I often think I should 
get on much better with many a worse man than he. 
He is most exact so far as performance of duty is 
concerned, it seems to me even too exact. There is 
no possibility of any one under him for one moment 
shirking duty, and of course I have no wish to do 
so. As a matter of faet, there is so little of it that 
I would willingly take mine and half his if he 
would permit it. He treats me with the most rigid . 
politeness, but I can always feel a something at the ' 
back of it. I am aware of my social shortcomings, 
and can make every excuse for him not haying a 
companion more to his liking. He feels the life as 
much as I do, but does not appear able to unbend. 
You would be surprised at how few words we ex- 
change in the twenty-four hours, often, in relieving 
each other at the door of the signal room, saluting 
without a word at all! 

The Chinaman 

AT first it struck even the Chinaman as curi- 
ous, for I have more than once seen him re- 
garding us, out of his almond eyes, with the 
suspicion of a grin for a moment humanizing his 
impenetrable countenance, 

I wonder if all Chinamen are like this one, and 
I wonder what this one is like ! He is a walking 
image of inscrutability and silence; his very foot- 
fall makes no "sound. I think, if one wanted to pre- 
tend to be very wise, a perfect storehouse of wisdom 
that one did not really possess, the great thing to do 
would be to say nothing. This can be quite impres- 
sive if it is done in the right way. The Chinaman 
does it in the right way, while, as Lieutenant Wil- 
spn does it, it is not impressive, but only irritating. 

The Chinaman's duties are light, and he does them 
very methodically. He gives no sign as to whether 
he likes or dislikes them, or if the slow hours some- 
times hang heavy on his hands or not. I think he 
must be a philosopher, taking it_all as the expendi- 
ture of so much time for so much pay, and carrying 
out his contract with a calm that seems to hold in 
it an element of contempt for all the world and all 
that is in it. As I have already mentioned, Lieuten- 
ant Wilson can convey contempt; hut to me, that of 
the Chinese appears much the loftier of the two. 

And yet it is of this placidindividual that Lieu- 
tenant Wilson manages to fall 'foul. 

I am well convinced that it is not so much through 
any fault in Ling, as the necessity for some safety 
valve for the escape of the lieutenant's temper. I 
am forbidden him by the regulations. He really is 
most unreasonable. A few minutes' delay in the 
performance of some slight duty or service, when 
heaven. knows an hour would make little enough 
difference, is enough to provoke an i^tburst. Lieu- 
tenant Wilson's display of temper always show a 
harsh and overbearing, I might almost say a bully- 
ing disposition. 

You will see, therefore, that apart from my 
slight duties, there is little to occupy my time, and 
I am reduced to being my own companion, a mis- 
erable substitute at best for pleasant company. That 
is where my diary comes in, and saves me from 
what would otherwise be many a tiresome hour. I 
wonder sometimes whether this was not in your 



296 



AMAZING STORIES 



mind when you set me the task, I think it must have 
been, seeing that although I write to you, I cannot 
post what I write. If so, thank you for the promise 
you exacted. What would I not give, dearest May, 
even for a few minutes of your company. 

The Ocean Solitude at Station X 

6th October* 

IF I lived long in this place I should have to be- 
come an astronomer. I am not allowed to give 
you many details, but you know that we are 
isolated and overlook the sea. When, by day, I sit 
and watch the ocean around, or, by night, the ocean 
above, both of which have now become so familiar 
to me, these seem my real companions, less remote, 
in spite of their immensity, than the two fellow hu- 
mans with whom my lot is cast. I think it is the 
mystery of things that is the attractive power. 
The sea-birds alone are a perpetual marvel. As long 
ago as I can remember anything, I remember 
watching the eagle with wonder and delight; but 
these sea-birds seem to surpass even him in magic. 
They come from the invisible distance, sail to and 
fro, to and fro, up and down, and away again be- 
yond the horizon, and it is even rare to see the beat 
of a pinion. It is not flying but floating, but the 
secret of it is their own, or at all events it is be- 
yond the range of my mechanics. 

But what are such mysteries compared with those 
that are spread above? If you have heard me 
grumble at the monotony of perpetual blue skies, 
you will never hear me grumble at these nights. It 
is then I feel the burden of my ignorance, watching 
nightly the march of these star battalions and not 
knowing even the name of one. I look forward to 
being your scholar in this as In other studies, when, 
if ever, the opportunity comes. No doubt this in- 
creased desire for information about the starry 
hosts is partly because I never knew before that 
there "were so many of them. There must be teri 
stars here for evwry one in a Scotch sky at the best 
of times. But the principal reason is that there 
would be so much the more to think about, for I 
have made another discovery, that an ignorant man 
alone, is more lonely than a man of knowledge can 
ever be. Yet I dare say the knowledge of the wisest 
is a small matter compared with the measure of his 
ignorance. 

If I could not turn my thoughts to you, dear May, 
sometimes, I think I should almost lose my reason. 
The place, or rather, the circumstances of my life 
here, are getting on my nerves, and I start almost 
at a shadow, or the slightest sound, I must indeed 
pull myself together, and think still more of you 
and the double pay that is leading to you, and turn 
my back res* itely upon things "based on nothing," 
as you say, "cobwebs," as you call them. 

I would not have you different from what you are 
for all the world, and the greatest stroke of luck of 
my life was finding you. With your level little head 
and matter-of-fact good sense to guide me, what 
have I to fear? 

It is now the hour for relieving Lieutenant Wil- 
Bon at the Signal Station; one of us must always be 
within hearing of the call signal. He has never had 
to waiVfor me yet I Good-bye, dear May, until to- 
morrow. 



More About the 'Chinaman 

7th October. 

IF these lines were destined to meet your eye at 
once I would not write them, as they could only 
worry you. Something has happened. No cob- 
web this time. My wretched foreboding has always 
been so vague that it has seemed part of my trouble 
that I could not tell in what direction to look for it. 
It never occurred to me that Lieutenant Wilson's 
temper would pass from an inconvenience into a 
danger, but what occurred to-day has shown me that 
in relying on the immovable calm of Ling, I have 
been building on the sand. The two things may still 
be quite unconnected, as to-day's affair only con- 
cerns me indirectly; but from now I shall live in 
extra dread of what may happen here. 

Ling was a few minutes behind time in the per- 
formance of some slight duty, and so had laid him- 
self open to rebuke. This had taken the usual form, 
and had included the additional feature of the threat 
of a rope's- ending. When possible, I manage to be 
absent on these occasions, but I happened just them 
to be watching the Chinaman, and was startled to 
see the veil of hi3 everlasting calm for a moment 
lifted. A look flashed from his entirely transforming 
his features. Just for one fleeting instant only was it 
there, but long enough to reveal to me the exis- 
tence of an unsuspected volcano beneath; then the 
impenetrable mask again descended. But that glance 
of fiendish and vindictive hate is enough to show me 
that my reading of his character was wrong, and 
that there may be a tragedy here at any time. 
Neyer more will I complain of monotonous days. 
May every day I remain here be a3 monotonous as 
hitherto, and may the time at length safely arrive 
when together we shall laugh all my fears out of 
countenance. Never did I feel the need of you, dear 
May, more than now; for if anything of the kind I 
dread should happen, I fear it would put the finish- 
ing touch on my jarred nerves. 

An Awful Mystery and Murder 

8th October. 

C4N it be but yesterday that I wrote the last 
line in this book? So far as the hours ar.e 
'concerned, it appears even less, for I know 
nothing of the passage of the greater part of them; 
but reckoning by events which were crowded into 
seconds, that time seems ages ago. The bolt has 
fallen. Never more, May, shall I sit and write you 
my thoughts in the shadow of that rock on the cliff 
overlooking the sunlit waves. But I will now, to the 
best of my ability, write down the awful account of 
what has happened, and the strange thing that has 
followed it. I am thankful to have had my nerves 
suflicien-iiy restored to do so. They are restored, in 
fact, to an extent that seems wonderful even to 
myself, A short time ago I was too distracted to 
write anything. 

My last letter to you was written, as usual, while 
sitting at my favorite spot on the cliff. Having 
closed the diary on the ominous words I had 
concluded my letter with, I was sitting half asleep, 
dreamily watching some sea-birds of tremendous 
wing, the name of which is unknown to me, and 
lazily wondering, as I always do, at their easy de- 
fiance of the laws of gravitation, when I was sud- 
denly roused more effectually than by clap of thun- 



STATION X 



297. 



der. They say I have phenomenal powers of hearing, 
and no doubt it is extra acute, hut the latent fear 
that since the day before had lain at the back of 
my mind, coupled with the nervous strain that had 
so long oppressed me, would in any case have made 
me quick to catch any unusual sound from the sta- 
tion — nearly half a mile distant. 

What I did hear was an angry shout as of sur- 
prise, rage, and something else that seemed to freeze 
the blood, a moment's mingling of two voices in ex- 
citement, a pistol-shot, and that was all. The very 
silence that succeeded seemed to lend horror to my 
mind. I had sprung to my feet at the first sound, 
but stood spell-bound for the few moments the 
sounds continued, and then at my utmost speed I 
ran for the station-house. 

During the two or three minutes this may have 
taken, I could not prevent the thought of a hun- 
dred .ajs'ful possibilities from jostling each other 
through ray mind. I feared to find terrible injury to 
one or other, perhaps both, of my companions— 
perhaps Ling even dead, for I knew the fatal ac- 
curacy of Lieutenant Wilson with a pistol. 
1 The reality surpassed it ali. Poor Wilson lay on 
his side, bent backward like a bow. His attitude ■ 
and expression were too frightful to recall, the last 
convulsive twitchings of life were still faintly per- 
ceptible. In his back was the Chinaman's knife, 
driven to the hilt. The Chinaman lay like one 
asleep, but in this case it, was the sleep that knows 
no waking, with a face on which its habitual calm 
had already reasserted itself, and a pistol bullet 
through his brain. 

■Recovery from a Trance 
J* Y dear May, I cannot give you the history of 
"■ the time that immediately succeeded my 
. discovery; it has become a bkink. Whether 
I actually lost consciousness at the shock or not, I 
do not know, but my memory holds no record of 
what must have been a considerable time. I remem- 
ber ultimately finding myself standing on the same 
spot, and, raising my eyes from the awful scene at 
my feet, I noticed' that the sun was already in the 
western sky. I was shaking like an aspen leaf. I 
struggled to collect ray ideas into a coherent train 
of thought, instinctively realizing that something 
must be done — at once. 

The thought of those murdered bodies lying so 
near me in the pale starlight through the silent 
watches of the night was intolerable. I resolved to 
bury them while daylight lasted, just as they were, 
as deep as I could— out of sight — out ofef^ghfc ! I 
cannot dwell, even now, on all the details of this 
task. I dragged them as far as possible from the* 
station-house, where their life's blood had made 
terrible token of the spot where they fell, just out-' 
side the door (thank Heaven, outside). 

I was determined that deep they should lie, but 
the ground was rocky, and my tools not intended 
for this use. Thankful to have digging tools at all, 
I at length completed my task. I confess that the 
hardness of the ground was not my only difficulty, 
for more than once I leapt up from my work with 
the vivid impression of the contorted face of the 
Chinaman, as I had once seen it, close to my shoul- 
der. Nothing but the alternative of their ghastly 
company above ground drove me to the completion 



of what I had commenced. I was none too soon, for 
by the time 1 had finished, the brief twilight was 
already on the iskind. Such, however, was my un- 
reasoning, frantic desire to obliterate all traces of 
the tragedy, that ere black night descended, the 
bloodstains also had been washed away. 

Entering the building, my loneliness rushed 
down upon me and seemed to wrap me round. I be- 
lieve it was more this feeling than the duty of re- 
porting the occurrence, that took me straight to the 
instrument. I longed to hear the voice of my fellow- 
man. At the signal-table there is provided, for the 
purpose of wireless telephony, a headpiece that fits 
over both ears, without requiring to be held by the 
hands, that they may be left free for taking down a 
message, and that shuts out all sounds except those 
coming through the instrument. 

A Wireless from Where? 

A S I put on this headpiece I felt severely the 
Za physical and mental strain to which I had 
J_ A. been subjected, and suffered a curious feel- 
ing that I do not know how to describe, except that 
it seemed half utter fatigue, and half excitement. 
I passed the signal, and then spoke the. call word, 
and nearly jumped out of the chair at the sound of 
my own voice. This should hot have been very dis- 
tinct to me, so effective are the ear-pieces or receiv- 
ers, as excluders of all sounds not coming by "wire- 
less" ; yet I seemed to have shouted. 

Trying again, and speaking softly, it had the 
same effect. Having waited in vain for an answer 
from the neighboring (neighboring !— -three thou- 
sand miles) station, I removed the headpiece and 
sat still for a moment. Then I found why my voice 
had seemed a shout. My nerves, 'or whatever the 
proper word may be, were in a state of unnatural 
exaltation. Incredible as it may appear, the mur- . 
mur of the wavelets all round the islet was clearly 
audible to me. The gentlest of breezes seemed to 
hiss over the bungalow. The creak of a board was 
like a pistol-shot. -' — 

A Breaking Communication 
NCE more I assumed the headpiece and 
signalled again, and again. The clang of 
the call-signal at the receiving station is 
audible for some distance; it is not necessary to 
have on the head-piece to receive it. The fact of, 
getting no reply proved there was no one in at- 
tendance, at the moment, at either of the two sta- 
tions we communicated ■' with. It is true the hour 
was an unusual one, in fact oue at which no call 
had ever been sent before, and that could he iht 
only reason why I was left without reply. It was 
an illustration of how even the best can get slack 
under such circumstances. I felt at the time that 
this went some way to vindicate Lieutenant Wil- 
son's methods, whose faults, whatever they mighf 
have been, certainly did not lie in the direction oi 
slackness. No one could have signalled us at any 
moment, day or night, during his command here_ 
without receiving an immediate answer. 

Keeping on the headpiece, I waited, calling up at 
intervals. f 

/How long this went on I cannot say, but after 
some shorter or longer time a thing happened that 
I cannot explain unless by supposing it the result 



AMAZING STORIES 



of the state of physical exhaustion to which I had 
reduced myself. While I waited, I fell asleep. My 
head must have dropped forward on the signal- 
table, at which I sat, and with the head-piece still 
attached, sleep suddenly overcame me. 

On waking, I seemed to come suddenly to my 
full senses, and it immediately struck me with a 
shock of surprise that it was no longer night! 

It did not take me a moment to realize the fearful 
neglect of duty of which I had been guilty, recall- 
ing as I did the fact that it could not have been 
. much more than an hour after sunset when I fell 
asleep. My first act was to look at the chronometer. 
It marked four o'clock. This was absolutely be- 
wildering, for at four o'clock it would not be al- 
ready light. Hastily removing the head-piece, I 
walked out of the station-house. The sun was ap- 
proaching the west! There could only be one ex- 
planation— I had slept over twenty hours. 

Remembering that as yet no account of the 
tragedy of yesterday had been despatched, and the 
urgent need of bringing the facts to the 1 
of the Admiralty, so that relief might be : 
hastened back to the instrument. Here another sur- 
prise awaited me, to make yon understand which, a 
little explanation is necessary. It is part of our 
instructions that, when telephoning, every word as 
spoken must be written down in shorthand, and 
every word spoken at the other end, must be taken 
down as received. This gives the Admiralty two 
records of everything that passes, one at each sta- 
tion, which should exactly correspond. 

On opening the Record Book, imagine my surprise 
to find written down, in my own short-hand, the re- 
port of a long conversation with the Queensland 
Station, in which I had apparently given a full ac- 
count of everything that had happened, and received 
replies and instructions, I tried to recollect some- 
thing of this, but in vain. My memory was, as it 
still is, and no doubt always" will be, a complete 
blank respecting it. The only explanation that 
seemed possible was that I had done this in my 
sleep, or in some state resembling sleep, brought 
on by the abnormal condition in which I had been 
the evening before. 

A Change in Physical Condition 

IT now occurred to ice for the first time what a 
great change there was in me, as compared with 
the day previous. Incredible as this unremem- 
bered signalling appeared, and nothing but the evi- 
dence of my own notes staring me in the face would 
have convinced me of it, it seemed almost as strange 
that such a disturbed sleep as it evidently must 
have been, could have restored me in the way it 
had. My nervous condition had quite vanished, for 
I found" myself as collected as ever before in my life. 
It might therefore be said I was more than re- 
stored, for I could scarcely recognize myself as 
the same individual that had spent the last few 
weeks, and especially the last days, in torturing 
worry and foreboding. 

It seemed as though the very catastrophe I had 
apprehended had, by its occurrence, relieved my 
mind from the strain. If any one had told me some 
mouths ago, say when last we saw each other, that 
under such circumstances as these — of horror, iso- 
lation, responsibility— I should be able to take it 



so calmly, I should have been the last to believe it. ' 
It next occurred to me that I was fearfully 
hungry, as well might be the case, and the need 
suddenly appeared so pressing that it had to be at 
once attended to. Never had food tasted so good, 
and yet, before I had proceeded far, a mouthful 
seemed to turn to ashes. The Record Book cer- 
tainly contained an account of messages in my hand- 
writing, but what evidence was there that it was 
other than an acted dream? Dropping my food, 
hunger forgotten, I went to the instrument, and in 
less than a minute was talking with Queensland. 
My relief was great as I found my account fully 
confirmed. They had received my report, and now 
renewed the instruction to keep as constantly on 
duty as I am physically capable of. 

Since finishing my interrupted meal, I have writ-: 
ten you this account, while keeping within sound of 
the call-signal. It is almost the hour at which I 
yesterday fell asleep at the instrument. That will 
not happen again, but I shall put on the headpiece. 
It is not necessary, but somehow I feel as though 
called to the instrument. So good-bye, dear May, 
for the present. 

CHAPTER III 
What the "Sa^itta" Discovered 

IT was the afternoon of the 11th of October. The 
cruiser Sagitta was taking a wireless telegragh 
staff, men whose leave had expired, from New 
Zealand, where their last duty had been, to the 
relief of the station at Wei-hai-wei. About six 
bells, a radio message was received in code from 
a station on the Eastern Extension Cable. "Take 
staff on board with all dispatch to relief of Sta- 
tion X. All communication ceased. Report on ar- 
rival." 

When Captain Evered received this communica- 
tion he was already well north of the Bismarck 
Archipelago, As he read it his face could not have - 
become graver had he seen an approaching typhoon, 
on the horizon. In a figurative sense that is what 
he did see. 

Promptly the nose of his thirty knotter was de- 
flected to the north-east, and she was sent racing 
at her best pace on the new route, which lay through 
the countless islands of the Caroline and Marshall 
groups, to where the bottom of the Pacific falls into 
the Ammen Deep, near which his goal was situated. 

He knew that something unusual must have hap- 
pened, but the secrecy of the Service precluded the? 
possibility of his asking questions. It was very 
possible, he thought, that Whitehall knew no more 
than he. "All communication ceased" was what lent 
color to the natural thought that had instantly oc- 
curred to him. Two young and healthy men are not 
likely to be totally incapacitated from duty at the 
same moment — from natural causes, n' 

Thinking of the two young men concerned in the 
present case, his thoughts took another turn, and, 
judging by his expression, it did not seem a partic- 
ularly pleasant one. Encountering the ship's doctor 
on deck soon after the change of course, he said: 

"What do you think of this message, Anderson? 
Have you any theory?" 

"Illness, probably," was the reply. 

"Perhaps," said Captain Evered la a tone of 
doubt, "or worse," 



STATION X 



299 



"What do you mean, sir?" was the startled re- 
tort. "Do you think that Germany — ~ ft 

"My first thought was that the storm had burst," 
said Captain Evered; "but if such an idea had been 
entertained at home, the message would have been 
worded differently. We live in such ticklish times 
that every precaution must be taken, hut I don't 
think that is the explanation." 

No Communication with Station X 
i( P g "SEEN have you some other theory?" 

n "I don't like to call it a theory, but I 
JL brought those two fellows out from Eng- 
land, and I can't forget what an ill-paired couple 
- they were." Captain Evered lit a cigarette. 

"In other words, you think it possible there has 
been trouble?" queried the doctor. 

"You were not with us on the outward voyage, 
and»so have not met them. Wilson showed every 
sign of being a martinet, and a surly one at that. 
Macrae, the engineer and operator, is more difficult 
to describe. He is well-meaning, but with little edu- 
cation, very nervous, and of weak will; no vice, hut 
no ballast. So we have the undisciplined temper of 
one, the peculiar, unstable character of the other, 
and extremely trying conditions — how trying they 
can be is known only to those who have been boxed 
up together for months in that way." 

"I hope there has been no row between them!" 

"Very likely not; but nothing would surprise me 
very much. The one thing certain is that neither of 
them is on duty, and the more I think of it, the less 
I believe in outside interference. Such a thing 
would be an overt act of war, of which there would 
be other signs by now." 
..-'""Station X was thoroughly fitted for radio tele- 
graphy, as well as with the incomparably larger 
plant for long-distance telephony. As the distance 
between herself and the island diminished, the 
Sagitta made repeated efforts to call up the station, 
but received no xeply. 

On the morning of the 14th the island was raised, 
a tiny ■ speck on the ocean's rim. When near enough 
for the glass to show every detail on cliff and shore, 
the cruiser made the tour of it, as a measure of 
precaution ; but no sign of life was visible, either 
on land or water. She then fired a rocket to attract 
attention, and waited, but in vain. 

Captain Evered's face was the picture of aston- 
ishment. What had happened to the Chinaman, even 
assuming the worst in regard to Macrae and Wil- 
son? Turning to his first lieutenant, he said: 

"Mr. Fletcher, take the cutter and go and investi- 
gate. Anderson will go with you. Let the men stay 
by the boat while you and Anderson land. If yciu 
see no sign of any one, signal me to that effect; and 
proceed to the station-house. Take your revolvers. 
Be careful to disturb nothing that has any bearing 
on what has happened, and return as soon as you 



Landing from the "Sagitta" 

THE boat's crew were piped away and were 
soon pulling for the shelving beach. The 
two officers landed and proceeded, to climb 
the cliff. They stood for a moment, the whole in- 
terior of the island lying like a map before them. 
They were watched with much curiosity from the 



Sagitta. In order to preserve the secret of Station 
X every precaution had been taken to hide from the 
non-commissioned ranks the fact that there was any / 
secret connected with it, or anything different from 
the other various stations periodically visited. As 
it is always the unusual that is most like to-be 
talked about, Captain Evered intended to take every 
means to hide any discovery of a remarkable ija- 
ture in connection with the present visit. That 
there was something out of the usual routine could 
not be hidden, but he hoped that the statement that 
there was a case of sickness on the island would he 
sufficient explanation, whatever the full facts of the 
ease might be. This was why the doctor had been 
made one of the landing-party. 

The agreed sign that nothing was visible was . 
made, and the two men disappeared over the cliff. 

"The station looks all right, at all events," said 
the doctor, "but no sign of anybody. Where the 
dickens can the fellows have got to?" 

They pressed on for the station-house, and 
pushed open the door, which was closed but not 
latched. 

On the floor, on its back, lay the body of Macrae, ■-. 
with an overturned chair beside him. .The appear- ^ 
anee irresistibly suggested that the poor' fellow had 
been sitting at the table in front of the instrument, 
when, from some unexplained cause, he had fallen 
backward, chair and all, striking the floor with the 
back of his head. There was no sign that he had 
made any subsequent effort. 

"Dead!" said the doctor, after a brief examina- 
tion; "but where are the others?" ' 

Catalepsy or Death! 

THE various rooms of the bungalow-built sta- 
tion-house were thoroughly searched, but 
there was nothing to throw any light on th.:ir 
absence. 

"Can you tell the cause of the operator's death, 
Anderson?" inquired Lieutenant Fletcher. 

"No," replied the doctor; "thereTs no sign of 
violence. It's very strange."- 

"Possihly the papers will show something of 
what has happened," suggested Fletcher, "but I 
think we'd better not interfere with them. I'll go 
back and report. No doubt the chief will then come 
ashore." 

"Right-oh!" said the doctor, who had turned his 
attention again to the body in the signal-room. 

Lieutenant Fletcher accordingly returned to the 
Sagitta and made his 'report, with the result that 
Captain Evered immediately decided to go ashore 
himself and make a personal examination of* the 
island. 

On arriving at the station-house, he went straight 
to the signal-room, where he found Dr. Anderson 
kneeling by the body of Macrae. ■ 

"Fletcher and I thought you had better see the 
place before anything was touched, sir," said An- 
derson, looking up. 

"He's dead?" questioned Captain Evered, indicat- 
ing Macrae. 

"I thought so at first," was the reply. 

Captain Evered looked sharply at the speaker, for 
both in the words and tone there was a significance. 

Answering the look, Anderson proceeded : "I 
have made a further examination, and I'm not now 



300 



AMAZING STORIES 



certain that my first report was at all correct." 

While speaking he was placing: the body in what, 
for a living person, would have been a more easy 
attitude. 

"It is true that I can find no sign of life what- 
ever, neither pulse nor temperature; but on the 
other hand, I can find no certain sign of death. You 
see there is no rigor, nor any sign of decay. The 
cessation of signals implies that he may have lain 
in this state for four days, and in this climate too." 

"But," said Captain Evered, "is such a state of 
death in life possible?" 

"It is difficult to say what is possible in this way," 
said the doctor; "but if this is trance, it is the most 
extraordinary case that has ever come to my knowl- 
edge." 

"Meanwhile what should be done?" 

"He must be got on board as quickly as possible, . 
and receive treatment." 

Captain Evered did not reply for a moment. He 
was looking at the thing from the Service point of 
view. 

"Well," he said at length, "what must be, must 
be; it is true we could not very well leave him here, 
but it's unfortunate. But what of the others? 
Where are they?" 

"We've seen no sign of them," said Anderson, 
"and in your absence Fletcher would not refer to the 
signal records to see what light they might throw 
on things." 

Examining the Signal-Books 

ACTING on the hint, Captain Evered went to 
the signal-book and began to read. The first 
thing he noticed, for in the circumstances he 
began at the end, was that the last signalling which 
took place was on October 10th, that is the day be- 
fore he had been ordered to change his course. 
Turning back the leaves, he at once came upon Mac- 
rae's report of the tragedy. This showed him that 
the Admiralty was already in possession of the 
facts so far. It did not show him the first arrange- 
ment made for Macrae's relief, and which, for the 
sake of greater despatch when Macrae no longer re- 
sponded, had been altered by sending the Sagitta. 
Captain Evered now gave the terrible details to his 
companion, and requested him to find the place 
where the bodies were buried. 

While Anderson was thus employed, Captain 
Evered turned to Macrae's diary, which under the 
circumstances he felt justified in examining. This 
he scanned over from the beginning, reading a little 
here and there, and soon seeing that it was a most 
improper account to have written, containing many 
indications that, in certain hands, would have af- 
forded undesirable clues. As he came to Maerae's 
description of the death of his companions and the 
effect on himself, Captain Evered became con- 
firmed in the view he had always held, that Macrae 
had never been a man suited to this kind of duty. 

As he read the astonishing document, he came 
to the inevitable conclusion that the poor fellow's 
brain had been turned by the event that had hap- 
pened and that the latter part of the diary was but 
the ravings of a lunatic. In fact, Macrae seemed, 
pathetically enough, to have had a suspicion of the 
fact himself. 



Putting down the diary as the doctor returned to 
the signal-room, Captain Evered said: 

"Well, have you found the spot?" 

"Yes, sir, I've found the grave," was the reply. 

"Then that so far verifies his report, but it is 
necessary that our arrival and discovery should be 
reported for the information of the Admiralty. I 
believe you are a motorist, Anderson, and no doubt 
you can re-charge with petrol and start the en- 
gine." 

Whilst Dr. Anderson busied himself about this, 
Captain Evered wrote out his report for despatch. 
This concluded, he turned to the doctor. 

"That a row of some sort should have happened 
here would not have surprised me, but to find all 
dead is beyond my worst anticipations. What do 
you now make of him?" 

"I can only repeat what I have before said. He 
must be brought on board," said the doctor, "hut I 
have little hope for him." 

"Then," was the reply, "when the report is sent 
and the relief staff landed, you must take him on 
board on a covered stretcher with as little remark as 
possible. Say he is in a comatose condition, and too 
ill to remain here. With care, his peculiar state need 
not be made apparent. The absence of the other two 
will not be spoken of, and there will not be much to 
call special attention to the affair among the crew." 

The Injured Operator Taken on Board the Naval 
Cruiser 

LEAVING Dr. Anderson in charge of the sta- 
tion, Captain Evered went down to the boat 
and returned on board. He explained the sit- 
uation to the officer about to take charge, and sent 
him, with his engineer-operator and servant to take 
immediate possession on the island, instructing him 
to call up British Columbia, and advise-that the sta- 
tion was again in working order. 

Under the excuse of waiting until the repairs 
rendered necessary by "the recent explosion at the 
station" had been carried out, the Sagitta stood by 
until sunset. In the fading light the "injured" op- 
erator was placed on a litter, and, under the doctor's 
supervision, brought on board. Long before that, 
the Sagitta had received her orders from home to 
proceed to Hong-Kong. 

Captain Evered nad brought Macrae's diary away 
with him, and how went carefully through the lat- 
ter part of it. He was quite convinced of the truth 
of the version given respecting the fatal occurrence 
between Wilson and the Chinaman. There were 
further entries under the dates of the two subse- 
quent days. The former had been first written in 
shorthand, in the manner a message is taken doWn 
as received, which, in fact, it pretended to have 
been; and had afterwards been re- written in long- 
hand. The entry under the second date, the last ■ 
entry in the diary, was still in shorthand only. It " 
was the former that had been considered by, Cap- 
tain Evered, when on the island, to be proof of the 
writer's insanity. 

Deciphering the Short-hand Diary 
T the first opportunity he spoke to Dr. Ander- 
the subject. "I should like you," he 
. said, "to run through this entry of his. The 
poor fellow seems to have had the most extraordin- 



A' 



STATION X 



301 



ary delusion one could imagine. What do you make 
of him now?" 

"Absolutely no change. In my opinion, if it is 
trance, it must end in death, with probably nothing 
to show the precise moment of the change. Do these 
writings of his throw any light on how he came in 
the position in which we- found him?" 

"So far as it is written out, no; but half of it 
is still in the original shorthand. This I can't read 
myself, and I rather hesitate about putting it in the 
hands of any one on board who can." 

"Well, as you propose to hand the papers to me, 
I'll see what I can make of it. If it's Pitman's and 
fairly well written, . I think I may be able to make 
it out, and if you wish, I'll write it out for you." 

"Thanks. If it's anything like the record of the 
day previous, I confess I should like to see it, wild 
delusion though it be. But take it and read it. Its 
very existence, from beginning to end, shows how 
unfit its' was for the secret service of one of these 
stations. Where his madness began I leave you to 
decide. At all events he seems mad enough towards 
the finish." 

"What do you suppose caused him to Jose his rea- 
son?" 

"I don't feel the least doubt about that," said 
Captain Evered. "He was a young fellow of con- 
siderable ability, but of the nervous, imaginative 
sort, unsuited in any case to the life incidental to 
such a post; and when the event happened that left 
him there alone, under circumstances that would 
have been trying to any one, he simply went all to 
pieces. However, read the first part of this, that is 
already written out, and tell me what you think of 
it." 

Brain and nerve disorders had always been the 
bi-.'Liich. of his profession that had special attraction 
for Dr. Anderson, and the vagaries of unhinged 
and abnormal minds had been a particular study of 
his. It was, therefore, with scientific interest that 
he took Macrae's writings for perusal. After read- 
ing the part that has already been repeated here, 
he came to the point where Macrae, in the signal-' 
room, finished his daily entry or letter with the 
avowed intention of going to the instrument and 
putting on the receiver or headpiece; to quote 
his own words, "as though called upon" to do so. 

CHAPTER IV 
The Mysterious Voice 

1IAT Dr. Anderson began to read in his 
cabin ran as follows : — 
It is not very agreeable, my dear May, to 
write what I feel must inevitably make you to be- 
lieve me to-be perfectly mad., And will you be, far 
wrong ? That is the question I am constantly asking 
myself. At all events, here are what appear to me 
to be the exact particulars of my experience. 

After finishing my letter to you yesterday, I' 
went and put on the headpiece, without knowing 
myself quite why I did so. Almost immediately 
■ after the receivers were covering my ears I heard 
a voice, and it at once struck me as a very peculiar 
voice, very pleasant and musical, but quite different 
somehow from any I had ever heard. It said, "Ma- 
crae, are you there?" 

Having . answered, I was surprised, after a short 



interval, to hear the voice repeat the same ques- 
tion, as though I had not been heard. But then it 
occurred to me that I had replied in a very low tone, 
instead of the rather loud and distinct manner of 
speaking we are instructed to use. So I endeavored 
this time to reply louder, but found that I seemed 
to have almost entirely lost my voice. I could only 
answer in the same manner as 1 before. There was a 
minute's silence, and then the same question re- 
peated. My inability to reply otherwise than as be- 
fore was most disconcerting, for, I reflected, while' 
that state of things continued, I was, for the purpose 
of radio telephony, absolutely useless. As the 
only one at the station, this would be serious. "Using 
my best effort, but without any extra result from it, 
I answered, "Yes! I am attending. Who are you?" 
Once more the same question came through the 
receiver. While I sat still, wondering what I should 
do about it, the voice spoke again. I had been heard. 
And now, dear May, try to believe me, however 
difficult. Think, should I choose such a terrible time 
as this for romancing? No! either this great mar- 
vel has really happened, or else I am — but no; I 
must, must keep away that terrible thought. 

The Strange Message From An Unknown Source 

THE voice said, "You attend! Now, listen, 
and do not be induced to leave the instrument, 
or fail in the closest attention, by the surprise 
of what you hear. Also understand that six minutes 
will elapse before any answer can reach you in reply 
to any question or remark of yours. I am not 
speaking to you from any point on your planet, but 
from your nearest neighboring world, which you call 
Venus." , 

"But," I interrupted, "you called me by name!" 

"This," went on the voice, "is an event in the 
history of your world, the immense importance of 
which, others of your fellow-beings will be much 
better able to realize than you. Of greater im- 
portance to your world than ours, in view of the 
fact that we are ' more advanced in^intellect and 
knowledge than yourselves, and have therefore less 
to learn from you than you from us. Having 
gleaned all we can from yourself, I will, pending ar- 
rangements that must be made for your savants to 
converse with us, give you some information re- 
specting ourselves and the world from which I 
speak to you. Yes; I called you by name! You do 
not remember, but we have been in conversation 
already for twenty hours— as long as your nature 
could hold out. This I will at once explain to you. 

"What you call radio telegraphy is the launching 
through space of etheric impulses, which travel 
outward from the generating centre in definitely* in 
all directions. The medium in which these impulses 
are propagated is universal. Unlike sound signals, 
which, propagated in the air, must be bounded by 
the atmosphere, these etheric signals have no defin- 
ite bounds ; they are easily detectable here, and much 
further. Consequently, your radio conversations 
have been eagerly listened to on my world, and hav© 
aroused an interest that you will scarcely under- 
stand, 

"From a time, thousands of years before your 
recorded history commences, we have desired to 
converse with you. During all these ages we have 
been able to see you, hut not; to speak to you. This 



.302 



AMAZING STORIES 



we have ardently wished, not only that we might 
help you forward, but that we might have the means 
of solving a thousand problems relating to your 
world, and especially to your (to us) bewilder ingly 
incomprehensible 'human' nature, as denoted by 
your acts. So, although the subject-matter of most 
of your radio messages is of trivial interest in it- 
self, the light it has thrown on the mentality of . 
your species lends to every word a profound inter- 
est, 

- Interplanetary Telephony 
" HEN, at last, you discovered telephony we' 
recognized that communication should 
soon follow, and we did all we could to at- 
tract your attention. But you persistently remained 
deaf to our words. From this we found put that 
your powers of hearing were insufficient for the 
purpose of interplanetary communication, which 
would therefore remain for ever impossible unless 
some means of establishing mental rapport with 
some one of you could be devised. In the- latter 
events, through the exalted condition of the sens- 
orial faculties that could be induced, and especially 
as controlled by hypnotic influence, we still hoped 
success might be obtained. 

"The difficulty, however, of bringing this about 
remained unconquerable, and, in the event, chance 
alone has decided it. 

"This chance depended on the accident of one , 
of your own particular nature or character being 
thrown by unwonted circumstances, and your iso- 
lated position, into a mental condition, one symp- 
tom of which was an abnormal functional exalta- 
tion of the sensorial ganglia. 

"On the night of what you call October 7, in this 
condition of nervous exaltation, and physical ex- 
haustion, you, to outward appearance, fell asleep 
at the instrument. Sleep is one of the natural phe- 
nomena that, with you, seem to be still curiously 
uncomprehended. For the present, I will merely 
say that your sub-consciousness was especially wide 
awake, and could hear my call. You answered, and 
the rest was easy. Improving the adjustment of 
your already responsive condition by hypnotic sug- 
gestion, for twenty hours we remained in the clos- 
est mental rapport. This time was employed, except 
for short intervals, when I assisted you in the per- 
formance of the work of your station, in getting 
from you all the information on things human and 
terrestrial that you are capable of giving. You have 
resolved a thousand questions that have been de- 
bated here for millenniums. We regret to find your 
strange lack of information on subjects evidently 
within the present acquirements of your race. Why 
are not all — but of that, another time. It may please 
you to know that, although at present an undis- 
tinguished individual on Earth, you are at this 
moment the most celebrated on Venus." 

The Voice Said, "Your Nearest Neighbour" 

THE voice ceased, and can you wonder, dear 
May, that words in reply failed me for a;' 
time. Among a hundred thoughts crowding 
through my mind the one which persisted with most 
force was,. Could this be real? "Your nearest neigh- 
bour," the voice said. I do hot" know what it means. 
The horrible idea took shape, this is delusion, mad- 



ness ! I cannot blame you that, like any One else, 
you will be driven to that conclusion. It must be 
so much easier to think that trouble has driven 
another poor wretch out of his mind, than to be- 
lieve that some one has spoken to him from the 
stars! 

After a time — I do not know how long— I pulled 
myself together sufficiently to make an answer. I 
tried to speak into the receiver, but found that I 
could only speak in the same low tone as before. 
"How is it, then," I asked, "if I could only hear 
you at first in consequence of a special state I was 
then in, that I can hear you now?" Eut, try as 
I would, I could not raise my voice. Finally, I gave 
up the attempt, and sat dejected at this impotence. 
While I sat with my head bent, the voice began to 
speak — -to answer! I was astounded that so low a 
tone should have been effectual. - 

"Because you are still in a 'special state,' as 
you call it," the voice said; - "that is, under my hyp- 
notic control, as established by me at our first 
interview. It is in obedience to my suggestion that 
you came to this interview, and that you can now 
only speak in a low tone to me. To others you are 
able to speak as loudly as you desire. Although 
your consciousness is now awake, and you do not 
feel the control, still it is perfect, as your loss of 
voice proves. This I ordered, partly that I might 
have that proof which is necessary, and partly thaE 
our conversation might be private, as none of your 
fellow-beings can hear you, and you alone can of 
course hear me." 

"How then are others going to talk with you?" 

"At first through you; then, I hope, directly, in 
a way you will see when the time comes." 

"But no one will believe me. Every one will think 
me mad, rather than suppose a human voice has 
reached me from such a distance." 

"There will be- no difficulty; at this, or subsequent 
interviews, there will be plenty of subject-matter, 
in your notes, that it will be evident did not eman- 
ate from you. But do not say 'a human voice'; you 
must not suppose me to be in the least human." 

It Is Venus That Has Been Speaking to Station X 
'HAT are you then?" I said, and, dear May, 
you have no idea what a horrible shiver 
ran down my spine as I asked. I had be- 
come already a little accustomed to the ringing 
musical voice, and, drawn by it, had, I think, all 
unconsciously, begun to picture a fellow-being 
speaking to me from this other world, not without 
sympathy. But now all that feeling instantly van- 
ished; nothing remained but a sense of the hideous 
uncanniness of it all. 

"!■ am," answered the voice, "one of the dominat- 
ing race on Venus, just as you are one of the domin- 
ating race on Earth, and do not be surprised or of- 
fended when I inform you that, were we on your 
Earth, and able to live there, we should, by virtue of 
our greater mental powers, have no more difficulty 
in dominating you than you have in dominating 
your horses and cattle." 

If this is true, May, thank God for the gulf of 
distance between us! While speaking of distance, 
do not forget that in these conversations there is 
always a wait of about six minutes for replies. If, 
as I suppose, this is in consequence of the distance, 



STATION X 



303 



it gives Sag some idea of what it must be. In sig- 
nalling Queensland or British Columbia I have 
often noticed there is no interval at all detectable. 

"How is it then," I asked, "that if you are not a' 
human being, you speak to me with a human voice?" 

"A very reasonable question," said the voice, 
"showing that you realize that the sounds of hu- 
man speech could only be made by human, or in 
some measure human-like organs. But the explana- 
tion is very simple. When first radio telephony was 
invented by you, that is, when first we heard your 
voice on our receivers, we immediately learned your 
languages. (That you should have more than one 
shows how crude is still your sociak^-but of that 
later.) Our next care was to make a mechanism 
that could give out the sounds alluded to. This I 
employ as you might play on an organ, and it is 
sounds so produced that you hear." 

The Wonderful Intelligence of the Venus.People 

AS I listened to these last words of the voice I 
felt a lightening of the load of dread, the 
suspicion of my own insanity, that weighed 
on me. Surely, mad or sane, no sueh ideas could 
spring up spontaneously in my head. Some one, 
somewhere was communicating with me. 

"Until you used radio telephony, we were ignor- 
iant of the sounds you made in communicating with 
each other; and it seems to be practically sounds 
alone that you employ — a curious limitation!" 

"But," I said, "you could see us before that? 
.You knew that this world was inhabited?" 

"We have known it for a hundred thousand years, 
and more, and during all that time have been close 
and interested observers of the happenings on your 
._ globe, placed as you are peculiarly well for our 
ofeeKwiipn. While we were still not, on the whole, 
more advanced mentally than you are now, we had 
already constructed an instrument which enabled us 
to do this. The fact that you have not yet done so 
is because you are mentally constituted in a totally 
different manner, which inclines you to devote your 
study and efforts in other directions. That is to 
say, primarily so. The observation of nature, and 
the universe in which we live, would appear to you 
of infinitely less importance than matters which, to 
us, appear futile and trivial." 

"lam sorry that I have not had the time to study 
these things," I said, "but I thought Mars was the 
nearest world to us, not Venus; and I have seen 
some talk about its being perhaps inhabited. I 
should take an interest in science, but I have had 
no time, with my living to get." 



"N 



us as information of practical benefit to ourselves. 
On hearing that the present conversation was about 
to end, I said, "Will you, or can you, give me soma 
proof, that others will accept, that this conversation 
has actually taken place, and is not merely my own 
imagination?" 

"What kind of proof do you suggest?" 

"Something that could not he known to me in" any 
other way, as, for instance, a description of the 
thing you said you could see us with so long ago, 
when no cleverer than we are. Nobody could believe 
that I had invented sueh a thing as that must be." 

"Very well ! As you may not be able to follow 
all the description, which I must render short, write 
with care the words you hear, so that others may be 
able to understand it, even where you may not ba 
able to do so. 

"Given perfect workmanship, the power of a tele- 
scope depends on the area of its objective lens. 
This is not on aeeount of any superiority of defini- 
tion, but on its greater light-gathering power. The 
image it produces is capable of greater magnifica- 
tion because better illuminated. But beyond certain 
moderate dimensions the practical difficulties in the 
making of optically perfect objectives increases out 
of proportion to the extra area. For this reason 
our savants turned their endeavors to the discovery 
of some way of making a number of objectives, ar- 
ranged in series, yield one perfect image of the 
object. 

Double Refraction aiid Polarization 
"'TVHERE are certain crystals, which probably 
I you have personally never heard of, which 
A are doubly refracting. When a single ray 
of light enters one of these crystals in a certain 
direction it divides into two, which proceed in di- 
verging paths and emerge as two rays. If the ray 
or beam of light entering the crystal carries an im- 
age of some object, the sides of the crystal can easily 
be so cut that' both the emerging beams carry per- 
fectly the same image. Conversely, if two rays 
enter the crystal in the paths by which the first 
mentioned left it, they will unite and emerge as one 
ray. 

"The rest is obvious. A batteEjroj; objectives and 
as many intervening crystals is arranged. Into each 
intervening crystal enter two beams in the requisite 
paths mentioned, the one of which comes from tha 
object direct through one of the objectives, the other 
is the emerging beam from the crystal next before 
it in series, and which is the united beams from 
an objective and the crystal still next before. By 
this means the beam emerging from the crystal last 
in series is composed of the united beams of all 
doubt," said the voice, "but your savants "the objectives, and,' if the manufacture and optical 
will be under no misapprehension as to the" arangement is perfect, will carry a perfect .i^aage 
of the object, with light in proportion to the 
united area, of all the objectives. The arrange- 
ment of the minor lenses, and the method of deal- 
ing with the polarization, will be so obvious to your 
opticians that it can be here omitted." 
"What," I said, "is polarization?" 
"There is no time now," said the voice, "for fur- 
ther description, and the fact that you do not know, 
renders my description the more valuable to yOu 
for the purpose for which you asked it. Your-~ 
people will know all about it. We must now cease 



Mars Is Also Inhabited 



relative distances of Venu3 and Mars. 
You have seen more respecting Mars because it is 
better placed for your observation. I can inform 
you that it is inhabited. Of all the things we shall 
speak of, this is the most vital. to you. But we will 
not enter on it until to-morrow, as the time for our 
present conversation is now nearly ended." 

This, of course, seemed very surprising to me, 
and I cannot now see at all what it could mean. It 
does not seem to me that any news about the inhabi- 
tants of Mars could be of much importance to 



304 



AMAZING STORIES 



to communicate, and you will be unable to hear un- 
til to-morrow at the same hour as to-day, when you 
will gome again to the instrument." 

Getting to the End of the Dialogue 

SO there our conversation ceased, and I said 
no more; in fact, I had a curious feeling as 
though forbidden to do so. I hope I shall 
soon be relieved of this dreadful post. Headquar- 
ters tell me relief is coining as quickly as possible. 
I have nothing to say against the friendly sort of 
voice 1 have listened to, or the communication it has 
made. I owe it something for having, at our first 
interview, in my sleep, evidently quieted my nerves, 
when I was probably on the high road, to madness. 
Very possibly that saved my reason. All the same, 
I cannot forget that I am hundreds of miles from a 
living soul, and it makes my flesh creep to listen 
to the voice of one who tells me openly he is not a 
human being at all! "What, I wonder, can lie be 
like! I dare not think of it! 

I have not reported officially any of the above 
conversation. What would be the use? At least 
I am now sure of the existence of some one who 
has talked to me. I can feel his personal influence 
too strongly to doubt it, apart from any other evi- 
dence. But that does not prove his words are true, 
or that he speaks from Venus. Perhaps some lying 
and wandering spirit— but I will not think about it. 
What would I not give to be off this awful rock 
that seems lost in the remotest wilderness of the 
Ocean, I used to like to look around from the cliff 
edge, and see the far-off circle of the horizon 
without a spot in any direction to break its line, 
but now I dread it. I have resolved not to attend 
at the instrument at the time the voice has appoint- 
ed. Let the next conversation be when there are 
others here. 

End of the Diary 

YITH a few love sentences, principally ex- 
' pressing the desire for an early reunion, the 
diary ended for the day. Under date of the 
next day, and precisely at the hour appointed by 
the, voice, evidently in spite of Macrae's resolve to 
the contrary, a further conversation had taken place 
and been recorded. This was only in shorthand, 
and, while the doctor was puzzling over the first 
words of it, the door opened and Captain Evered 
entered. 

', "Well, Anderson ! What do you think of the poor 
fellow's ravings? Curious delusion, wasn't it?" 

"More than curious; but between ourselves they; 
don't read to me like ravings at all! There is a 
curious problem here that at the moment, I must 
adnrb,' puzzles me. If Macrae were a man of scien- 
tific attainments it would be still very curious as an 
instance of self-delusion. But the number of such 
cases is very great, and this could simply pass as a 
noteworthy specimen among tbem. But if he was 
only the uneducated man you have given me to 
understand, then this document is the most aston- 
ishing thing I've ever heard of. Yet I suppose we 
can aecept his own version of it?" 

"Weil, you know more about this bind of thing 
than I, but to me it simply reads like the ravings 
of a lunatic!" 



"But these are not ravings! What be has" writ- 
ten as the words of the voice indicate considerable 
scientific knowledge, and if Macrae did not himself 
possess it, the theory of his madness would not ac- 
count for it. Let us dissect it a little. Either he 
had considerable scientific knowledge when he 

landed " 

' "My dear Anderson, I watched him closely during 
a long voyage while endeavoring to establish better 
relations between him and poor Wilson. I had sev- 
eral conversations with him, and drew him out, and 
you may absolutely rely on it that he was just an 
ignorant, unread mountain lad, but very imagina- 
tive. He had applied himself diligently to the prac- 
tical part of radio telegraphy — and subsequently 
telephony. He knew next to nothing of the scien- 
tific theory of it, but was very competent in the 
engineering and general woi - king. As for general 
scientific knowledge, he simply had none." ". 

"Perhaps," pursued the doctor, "he took books 
with him and studied on the island." 

"Nothing of the kind was landed." 

"Or he was instructed by Wilson during their 
spare time," suggested the doctor. 

"Absolutely out of the question, Wilson would 
as soon have thought of instructing a mountain 
goat." 

Discussing the 'Conclusion of the Diary 

THEN he has been in wireless communica- 
tion with some one, somewhere, who has 
thought it worth his while to hold this con- 
versation with him; that is the only explanation of 
this," said Dr. Anderson, tapping the manuscript 
before him. 

"There are," said Captain Evered, "only two sta- 
tions on earth that have the necessary apparatus for 
communication, by telephone, with Station X. No 
one. at either, unless as mad as Macrae himself, 
would venture so far as to contravene the regula- 
tions for such a purpose. Using the Morse code, the 
signals of any vessel within a wide range are re- 
ceived, but it is forbidden to answer. Therefore, if 
we are driven to believe he received the messages 
from somewhere, we must, it seems, accept the ver- 
sion of Jupiter, or wherever it is he claims it for." 

Anderson did not join in the Captain's laugh. 

"Well, then," said Captain Evered, "as you will 
not, I see, accept my simple explanation, tell me 
what it is in his account that causes the difficulty." 

"Certainly. Did you notice this account of a 
kind of compound telescope?" 

"I saw there was some description of something 
in that way," was the reply; "is there anything in 
'it?" 

"I do not say it is workable; in fact, in my 
opinion it is not, but it is quite understandable; 
and the theory is all right. The difficulties, although 
probably fatal, are merely mechanical. So far as I 
am aware, the idea is quite new. In the hands of 
superior beings, sueh as this Venerian claims they 
are, mechanical difficulties would disappear. So 
that, in the first place, the story hangs together 
all right, and secondly Maerae could not have in- 
vented it. Further, while reading it, I cheeked off 
the position of Venus at the date of the writing, 
and calculated roughly the distance. I find that at 
the speed of these Hertzian waves it would be at- 



STATION X 



305 



most exactly a three-minute journey. So that Ma- 
crae's six minutes for replies is quite correct. Again, 
there are the remarks of the supposed Venerian as 
to the backward state, socially, of us terrestrials, in 
not adopting a universal language, and on other 
social questions. Can you imagine them as emanat- 
ing from Macrae? Speaking of languages, does 
this writing strike you, where the Venerian is sup- 
posed to he speaking, as being iu Macrae's style?" 

"By Jove! Anderson, you are right! Now this 
really is interesting. Perhaps this shorthand that 
follows will throw light on it, as well as on his 
present condition. Ey the by, I hope it won't last 
much longer. It becomes increasingly difficult to 
keep it from the crew." 

"I am glad to see you are at last interested. 
But there is a task before me here. It is so long 
since I used Pitman that I have almost forgotten 
the signs." 

It proved quite as difficult as the doctor expected, 
and it was far into the night before he had finished, 
' but he was too absorbed in the contents to leave it 
before it was done. 

CHAPTER V 

Captain Evered Gets the Transcription 

THE next morning Dr. Anderson Banded to 
Captain Evered his transcription of Macrae's, 
shorthand. 
"What do you make of it?" was the question as 
they walked towards the captain's cabin. 

'Td rather not say until you've read it, sir," was 
the response, "lest you think me mad as you think 
Macrae. Now I'm going to turn in. I've not long 
-...finished it." 

~Jn order to keep Macrae's condition from the 
crew, and for the doctor's better private observa- 
tion of him, Anderson had given up his cabin, and 
was for the time accommodated in a scrfeened-off 
corner of the barbette. 

Transcription of the Mysterious Communication 

CAPTAIN Evered shut himself in his cabin, 
and unfolded the manuscript which ran : 
"Are you there, Macrae?" 

"Yes, I am here, although on thinking it over after 
our talk yesterday, I decided not to be." 

"Why?" 

"I decided I would prefer to leave it until there 
were others here with me. Since you told me I was 
not listening to a human voice, I seem, somehow, 
to shrink from it; it is uncanny. Also, some time 
after I left the instrument, the doubt came back, 
that it might be all a delusion." 

"So you decided not to come to the instrument 
for this appointment, but, as the time approached, 
you altered your mind, or rather, your mind altered, 
and you felt inclined to attend; is that so?" 

"Well, yes, that is exactly how it was." 

"Quite so; that is as it should be. While you are 
talking with me, do you entertain any doubt of my 
■ existence ?" 

"Not at the time. I can distinctly feel that you 
are somewhere; that there is some one besides 
myself." > 

"Exactly. Across the abyss you feel my personal 



influence, I think, Macrae, you must be exception- 
ally adapted, even among your impressionable spe- 
cies, for the role you are filling. Be quite convinced 
of my objective reality; from this time onward dis- 
miss any idea to the contrary from your mind; let 
no such doubt occur to you again. With respect to 
the other point you raise, although you do not know 
anything of bodily forms here, do not let that 
trouble you. The curiosity that will doubtless exist 
among your fellow-beings respecting us shall be 
fully satisfied later. For the present, try to realize 
that the body is but the raiment; it is the being 
who is clothed with it that alone signifies. 

"In view of what I am about to say to you, it 
is essential that you should keep that fixed in your 
mind, as it will help you to understand. For the 
rest, look upon us here as the friends of your kind. 
How urgently you are in need of our assistance you 
are about to learn; for it has been decided here 
that, in view of this wonderful opportunity, which 
accident might interfere with, not another day 
should be lost in acquainting you with the particu- 
lars. As the message is not for you alone, be very 
careful in your written report of it. Now listen 
attentively. 

A Warning from a Friendly Planet 

TERRIBLE danger threatens, from which 



"A 



nothing but the fortunate accident of your 
getting in communication first with me, 
may save you— ^if saved you are to be. 

"That you should the better understand what 
you are about to hear, it is necessary to begin by 
recounting to you some long past events, relating to 
life in other worlds than yours or mine. 

"The mystery of the origin of life, like that of 
matter, is an ocean depth where no plummet of the 
finite mind can find a bottom. It is sufficient illus- 
tration of the crudity of your ideas on the subject 
that there should be any doubt among you as to the 
other planetary members of our System being in- 
habited. You now have proof that.one other is so, 
and must take my word for it that there is good 
reason why no planet under such temperature and 
other conditions as render life possible, can remain 
barren of organic development. 

"But there have been time3 in the past when 
such conditions have not obtained, when the various 
members of our System have been too heated for life 
to be possible. In consequence of the more rapid 
cooling of the smaller planets, the first to be the 
scene of life was your satellite, the Moon. This was 
millions of years ago, and the climatic conditions on 
it then were very different from now. It then had 
abundant atmosphere and humidity and afforded a 
site for life development long ages before your 
world, or ours, was so suited. 

"The inevitable result under these conditions fol- 
lowed. It became covered with a myriad forms of 
living creatures, out of which finally emerged one, 
by virtue of its mental superiority, combined with 
sufficient bodily fitness, to dominate all. In obedi- 
ence to the laws of development, this race advanced 
to higher and higher powers, attaining a position 
similar to that held by you in your world, and by U3 
in ours. Now you must conceive the lapse of a vast 
period of time before the great tragedy, of which 
I am about to speak, took place. 



306 



AMAZING STORIES 



About Lunarians and Their History 



' N the course of unnumbered thousands of 
years, the Lunarians, as we will call them, 
had developed in powers, both mental and 
physical, far beyond either yours or ours at the 
present day. At that time the Earth and Venus 
were still without other than the lower forms of 
life, in consequence of their more recent habitabil- 
ity. The only other place where life had now ad- 
vanced to the higher plane was the much smaller 
planet, Mars. At the time when the dominating race 
on Mars had arrived approximately' at your present 
mental status, the Lunarians were vastly advanced. 

"The Moon was palpably growing old, and un- 
fitted for the easy .maintenance of its inhabitants. 
As it had been the first to be habitable, so it would 
be the first to be uninhabitable. As to the causes of 
this, I cannot enter now, but will explain them on a 
future occasion. The near neighborhood of your 
Earth had much to do with it. The Lunarians saw 
ahead of them the time when daily revolution would 
altogether cease, and induce conditions, apart from 
the shrinkage of atmosphere and moisture, impos- 
sible for them any longer to combat. Generation 
after generation the contest with Nature, under less 
and less easy terms, became more strenuous. In 
judging the Lunarians, it is but just to recall all 
the facts. 

"The science and intellect of these beings en- 
abled them to make a minute investigation into the 
local conditions prevailing on the other members of 
the Solar System, or at all events, of the four in- 
ner members of it. They began to discuss the ques- 
tion—were there any among these that would af- 
ford a better home, if attainable? There was one — 
Mars! But this was already inhabited by beings of 
high intelligence, and with whom the Lunarians 
had succeeded in establishing communication. Could 
Mars be reached? There was a way; so horrible in 
its selfishness, so fiendish in its unspeakable wick- 
edness, that the mind shrinks from thought con- 
tact with it, even after the lapse of a million years. 
But it is now my painful duty to tell you the ter- 
rible narrative.' ' 

"The Lunarians knew the double impracticability 
of transferring their bodies to Mars ; impossible to 
launch themselves those millions of miles across the 
Zodiac and live, impossible to continue existence in 
the new world, even if they could safely arrive there. 

Bacteria of the Different Planets 
««r"W""SHE conditions of health quite as much as 
I the conditions of disease, depend on the 
_fiL microscopic forms of life, which teem both 
in our bodies and in our surroundings. The greater 
number of the latter are only innocuous because, 
by being, ab initio, accustomed to their action, we 
have acquired immunity. But these bacterial and 
other low forms of life are quite different on Mars 
from those which are common to' the Earth and her 
satellite. The result would be that no animal form 
of life from the one could continue to exist on the 
other. It would be the defenceless victim to un- 
numbered new diseases, any one of which would be 
fatal. Yet there was a way. 

"Have you thought of the fact that so far as your 
will is concerned you are now completely under my 
influence? That it was an easy thing for me to hold 



intercourse with you for twenty hours without your 
knowledge? That without even knowing why, with- 

, out consciousness of the outside influence, you came 
to this present interview at the appointed moment, 
and in spile of your having resolved to the con- 
trary? What you do not realize is that you had no 
option in the matter. That lay entirely with me. 
But such powers as mine, while no doubt greater in 
degree, although not perhaps very different in 
kind, from' what is known on your Earth, are as 
nothing, compared to the powers possessed by the 
Lunarians, both now and at the time I speak of, 
when neither your world nor mine had a reasoning 
being on it. 

■ ■ "It was an easy thing for a Lunarian to estab- 
lish with a fellow-being, by mutual consent, a mental 
rapport, and not only thus to exchange ideas without 
outward physical means, but even to exchange per- 
sonalities, which practically amounts to exchanging 
bodies. But it need not be with a fellow Lunarian. 
It could be with any being of sufficiently high men- 
tal-status to be brought on the same plane of mental 
rapport, and mere physical distance had nothing to 
do with it. In the case of weaker beings, no mutual 
consent was necessary. Once that intercourse en- 
abled them by hypnotic influence to establish this 
rapport, they could compel the weaker will. The aw- 
ful idea was conceived, and in due course remorse- 
lessly carried out, of effecting bodily exchange with 

, the unfortunate Martians of those days. 

An Appalling Interplanetary Crime, 

""ijrNTO all the details of "this appalling crime, 
I extending over weeks, it is not necessary to 

JL enter.' The science of the Lunarians, ampli- 
fied as to Martian local conditions by intercourse 
with their intended victims, enabled them to ac- 
quire in advance all the needed particulars and data 
for Successfully mastering, and dealing with, the 
new conditions, so that in taking possession of 
their, to them, new bodies, they were' at no loss as 
to procedure. On the contrary, each Martian awoke 
from his hypnotic sleep to find himself, not himself, 
so far as his bodily form was concerned, but some 
strange, and, to him, loathsome creature, in a world 
of which he knew nothing. Eeason could not stand 
so great a shock; in raving dementia he died. So 
six hundred million beings of high intellect and cul- 
ture perished. This is the greatest tragedy that our 
Sun has ever looked on. 

"The invaders now inhabited a new world full of 
life and beauty, with a fauna and flora of infinite. 
variety, splendor and novelty, and general condi- 
tions of life making their existence as a race pleas- 
ant and easy. But everything in the Universe is a 
means to an end, and crime is no exception, and its 
end is not" happiness. The essence of crime is' sel- : 
fishness. The crime of the Lunarians, whom we 
will henceforth speak of as Martians, was a race 
crime. It was not lacking in heroic qualities so far 
as the individuals .who carried it out were con- 
cerned. To them personally the advantages were 
questionable, the sacrifice inevitable. 

"It must be remembered that each of them, no 
less than his victim,' now inhabited a body at least 
as unattractive to him as his to the poor unfortunate 
who had been forced into it. More so : the older and 
vastly superior of the two races could not but feel 



STATION X 



307 



degraded by the more primitive and undeveloped 
bodily form, and one far less suited, by the modell- 
ing effect of ages of adaptation, to be the tools of 
his will. In this connection the matter of language 
alone need be mentioned, it having to be translated 
into entirely new sounds of articulation. Time only 
could alleviate these conditions, and the passing of 
the generation alone entirely remove them. 

"The excuse the Martians made for themselves 
was that the conditions of Lunar life were becom- 
ing such as to threaten, by deteriorating their bodily 
welfare, to impair their mental powers, to lower, 
and ultimately extinguish, the splendid intellect of 
which they were so justly proud. If, they pleaded, 
one of the two races must perish, why should not 
the higher survive? Note that their argument, in 
speaking of races, disdains the mere physical part, 
and deals alone with that which dwells in it; for 
of course, in their transfer, so far as the physical 
form was concerned, it was the higher which per- 
ished. 

The Martians Could Not Exist on the Earth or in Venus 
« A ND now the sequel. Too late it came to 
l\ their knowledge, in the light of the future 
JL Ja. ages, that their previous abode had not 
been so nearly uninhabitable as they had feared; 
that it had been calculated to last as their abode as 
a race, possible of habitation, until its greater com- 
; panion sphere was fit for their reception; that the 
increasing difficulties of lunar existence were ex- 
actly calculated, not to destroy, but to stimulate 
and enhance their powers of both mind and body, 
until their physical transfer to Earth was pos- 
sible; that their growing science would have been 
in good time sufficient to carry this out in a per- 
fectly legitimate way, by launching their bodies 
~aT*ross the comparatively trivia! distance to their 
terrestrial goal, where they would have been com- 
petent to live and advance; for the bacteria! forms 
of life on the Earth and its satellite are the same. 

"At this moment, so great has been their scientific 
advance, that the problem of making the journey 
and arriving safely on Earth, not merely from the 
Moon, but from Mars, is within their ability to 
solve; but, as already mentioned, it would, from the 
latter, be fata!, as Martian organisms could not ex- 
ist on Earth, or, we are thankful to say, on Venus 
either. From this natural and happy denouement 
they have, therefore, forever cut themselves off, to 
their eternal regret. They see the error of the evil 
deed of their ancestors, but do not see any way to 
avoid its consequence by any deed less evil. But 
they are as anxious to leave Mars as their, an- 
cestors were to gain it. One reason is that from the 
moment of their arrival on Mars, a result that they 
wholly failed to foresee, they have intellectually 
ceased to advance. Scientifically, only, have they 
advanced ; a very different thing. The other reason 
is that Mars is now growing old. 

The Fall of the Lunarians 

"~fP5 EF0EE tIie §vI1 bought occurred to the 
8-4! Lunarians, they were, in all respects, an ad- 
A-Jr vancing and a noble people; natural heirs 
to a heritage the full extent of which is eye n now 
not apparent. Wherever ther? gaze might fall on 
the worlds around them, they could see that there 



was nothing equal to themselves. Their industry 
ever kept pace with their intellect; their stupend- 
ous energy was always equal to the heightening 
struggle with Nature. The mastery they gained 
over their globe and its conditions surpassed praise. 
As water, and even atmosphere, began to fail them, 
the enormous circular reservoirs they made for its 
conservation, and which must be so plainly visible 
from your Earth, stand to this day, in their roof- ■ 
less ruin, everlasting monuments to their abilities. ■ 

"It is now maddening to the Martian, still : im- 
measurably our superior, to see us ever advancing, 
however slowly, however painfully, ever advancing 
on the road where he stands motionless, destined, 
as it seems, to be overtaken and passed in the race. 
From the days of his forefathers' iniquity his 
former nobility seems dead. His intellect, vast as it 
is beyond our power to measure, seems no longer 
harmonised to high ideals, but to evil, which is 
probably the reason why it is stagnant. 

"And now we come to your danger, and, with 
your mind prepared by the history to which you 
have listened, it can be stated in a single sentence. 
As he treated the former Martians, so he " 

Abrupt End of the Manuscript 

HERE the shorthand manuscript ceased 
abruptly. It was evidently at this point 
that the occurrence happened, whatever it 
might have been, that caused Macrae not only to 
cease his notes, but to fall to the floor in the re- 
markable condition in which he still lay. 

For some minutes Captain Evered sat .gazing 
straight in front of him. Then he rang for his ord- 
erly and instructed him to ask Dr. Anderson to 
come to his cabin at once. 

As he entered, Anderson looked quickly .at hja- 
superior. "Sit down," was all Captain Evered said. 

After fully a minute's pause, he continued* "Mad 
as a March hare, what?" 

"I question it," remarked Anderson dryly, not 
yet recovered from the unceremonious interruption 
of his long-deferred sleep. . 

"But the fellow didn't know what he was writ- 
ing about," persisted Captain Evered. 

"Well, somebody did!" said Anderson quietly. 
"I don't think you can read this over carefully, and 
seriously believe that it bears any resemblance to 
the incoherences of madness, or could be composed 
by any one who did not know what he was doing." 

"Great Scot! You are not telling me that you be- 
lieve this story?" 

"That is hardly the question, sir. I think we 
may leave the truth or otherwise of the narrative on 
one side for the moment. The question is: where 
did it come from?" 

"Well, it came from Macrae, of course. We can't 
go beyond that." 

"I never saw Macrae to speak to," said Anderson ; 
"you have. You have described him to me, his char- 
acter, and his education, or rather, lack of it. I ac- 
cept your account of him as correct. But that story," 
pointing to the papers in Evered's hand, "touches 
on points of astronomy, evolution, physiology and 
other sciences, and always after the manner of one 
well acquainted with them, or at least, in a way cer- 
tainly impossible to one so entirely ignorant of 
them as you know Macrae to have been." 



308 



AMAZING STORIES 



Dr. Anderson leaned back -with the air of a man 
who challenges confutation. 

"Quite so!" said Captain Evered. "I see your 
point. I'll go through this again, and we will have 
a further talk about it. What is your theory?" 

"So far, I have none, sir," replied Anderson; 
"none whatever! I'm completely at fault!" 

A Theory Searched for to Solve the Mystery 

IN the course of the day Captain Evered read 
Macrae's story again, looking out for the dif- 
ferent points indicated by the doctor, and he 
realized the force of his observations. 

"Anderson is right," he muttered. "Macrae no 
more wrote this out of his own head than I did; 
couldn't have done it. Who the devil did it?" 

Captain Evered had arrived at the same point 
previously reached by Dr. Anderson. 

The doctor was meanwhile curious as to the re- 
sult of Evered's further study of the document. To- 
wards evening he was sent for. 

"Queer thing, this radio telegraphy and. telephony, 
Anderson," said Captain Evered, as the doctor en- 
tered his cabin. "Do you believe in the planets be- 
ing inhabited?" 

"Professor Rudge is firmly convinced that one at 
least is. He considers SchiapareM's discoveries to 
have absolutely proved it so far as Mars is con- 
cerned. He wants in fact to try and signal to them 
in some way. Other scientists are convinced that, 
if that planet is not inhabited, it shows many signs 
that it is not uninhabitable," 

"So Budge wants to get into communication with 
them, does hie? A possibly dangerous proceeding, 
according to this," said Captain Evered, tapping the 
manuscript. 

Their eyes met for a moment. The doctor re- 
mained silent. 

"Look here, Anderson, I believe we're both agreed 
that this yarn of Macrae's is quite the tallest we've 
ever heard, and also that there is some mystery 
about it that wants clearing up. The infernal thing 
has been running through my head all day, and I 
am no forwarder. Are you?" 

"Your case, sir, is mine exactly. I'm stuck," An- 
derson confessed. 

"Then what ought I to do?" 

"If you really wish to know what I should do 
were I in your place, sir, I should ask the Admiralty 
to trust some eminent scientist, such as Professor 
Rudge, whom we just mentioned, with the secret of 
the Station, and place Macrae's writings in his 
hands--and so wash yours of all responsibility." 

"Capital! That's what I'll do. There is a further 
point in its favor. Professor Rudge, as the inven- 
tor of the method of this new system of telephony 
without which these long distance installations 
would have been impossible, was called into con- 
sultation when they were contemplated and their 
sites chosen. He already knows of the existence of 
Station X." 

"Then there can be no difficulty. I only wish in 
addition to placing the papers in his hands, we 
could place there Macrae also, poor fellow." 

"You still see no chance of his recovery? If he is 
not actually dead, it cannot be quite hopeless, carl 



sensibly merge from his trance into death," said 
Anderson, with conviction. 

Here their conversation was interrupted by some 
one knocking at the door. 

"Come in," said Captain Evered, and a sailor put 
in his head. 

"If you please, sir, Mr. Macrae has got out of his 
bunk, and is walking about the ship in his blanket, 
asking for you, sir. He seems a bit dazed like." 

"Ye gods!" muttered Anderson, as he and Cap- 
tain Evered left the cabin. 

CHAPTER VI 
Professor Rudge Investigates 

NEVER was a medical man more pleased at 
a wrong diagnosis than Dr. Anderson in re- 
gard to the mysterious case of Alan Macrae. 
To the natural satisfaction of seeing the return to 
life of a patient of whom he had despaired, was 
added the anticipation of probing further the inter- 
esting problem that now engrossed their thoughts. 
There was now a chance that he would be able to 
investigate for himself, not only into the mental 
state of Macrae, but also into his character and at- 
tainments, and so definitely satisfy himself as to 
whether this alleged communication had taken place. 
He had already convinced himself that a belief in 
its possibility was far from scientifically absurd, 
and he knew that in this he was backed by some of 
the most eminent scientists of the day. 

On taking charge of his patient, he at once saw 
that the poor fellow was not so much "dazed" as 
excited, and it was some time before he could be 
spothed-T-not, in fact, until it had been explained to 
him how he came to be on board the Sagitta. Dr. 
Anderson answered his questions while getting him 
as quickly as possible back to his cabin. Macrae 
then gradually calmed down, took nourishment, and 
slept, thereby relieving Dr. Anderson from the fears 
he was beginning to entertain. 



r from His 'Catalyptic 



if' 



- quite convinced he will not recover, but in- 



A Quick Recovery of the Opera 
State 

AFTER this he made a quick recovery, showing 
that there was nothing organically wrong, 
, and that the elasticity of youth had not been 
permanently impaired. Two days elapsed before 
Dr. Anderson would allow his patient to be ques- 
tioned as to what had happened to him in the sig- 
nal-room of Station X. Macrae on his part showed 
no disposition to discuss the subject. It was partly 
on account of this tacit avoidance of it on the in- 
valid's part that Dr. Anderson deprecated the sub- 
ject being forced on him too soon. "The blow," he 
said, "whatever it was, was struck on the nervous 
system, and if there is any danger for him, it is 
there we must look for it." 

Toward the close of the second day, Macrae 
seemed so fully himself again, apart from some 
physical weakness, that the doctor decided that 
there would be no harm in a little judicious ques- 
tioning. He had already convinced himself that 
there was no trace of insanity in his patient. 

He therefore determined to ascertain if Macrae 
were really averse to entering on the topic, and, if 
not, to prepare him for a' visit from Captain 
Evered, 



STATION X 



309 



"Surely, sir," said Macrae, on seeing the doctor 
enter, "I am well enough to get Up now,. In fact, 
there is nothing the matter with me except weak- 
ness through lying here so long!" 

"And not having had anything to eat for a week 
before that, my lad; you might include that, eh? 
However, I intend to let you loose . tomorrow. You 
must not think a couple of days' rest and judicious 
stoking too much after your 'experience. 

Talking about your experience, there is no wish 
to press you to go into that subject before you feel 
■well enough, but the Captain wants to have a talk 
with you. 

"I have been expecting this, sir. I must of course 
explain, although the thing 1 shall have to tell has 
nothing to do with my official duties." 

"What thing?" asked the doctor. 

Talking It Over with the Operator 
f"Y experience on the island, sir. It's so 
strange that no one will believe it. I can 
scarcely believe it myself. It is not very 
pleasant to know that I shall be looked upon as 
either mad or a liar." ' 

"Don't be so sure of that, and you mustn't re- 
gard your talks with the Captain or me as official 
examinations. That will, no doubt, come later in 
London. You shall tell us just as much or as little 
as you wish, and on no account go into anything that 
will unduly excite you." 

"When speaking of it, sir, I would prefer to tell 
the whole thing, but I don't quite know how to be- 
gin. The Captain of course knows how I came to 
be alone on the island." 

"Yes — ah, here he is I" he broke off, as Captain 
Evered entered. 
"~-"^."WeIl, Macrae," he said, smiling pleasantly, 
"feel better?" 

"I am all right now, I think, sir ; but this dread- 
ful affair with Lieutenant Wilson, and the mysteries 
on top of it, have been a bit too much for me." 

"You were surprised to find yourself on board the 
Sagitta, I expect?" suggested Captain Evered. 

"Yes, sir, I did not expect that." 

"Do you remember all that took place at the sta- 
tion? Of course I have seen the official record, and 
have also looked through your private account of 
your experiences, I am afraid it will have to be im- 
pounded, as it contains several things that might 
give away the position of the station if it fell into 
improper hands." 

"I'm very sorry, sir," said Macrae, coloring, "if 
I've done anything wrong." 

"Not intentionally, I am sure," said Captain 
Evered kindly; "but perhaps you have not quite 
realized the extreme caution requisite. Tomorrow, 
probably, we shall be landing you at Hong-Itong. 
Remember the solemn engagement you made when 
signing on not to communicate anything to an un- 
authorized person in any way referring to Station 
X. We will speak of that again in the morning. Just 
now Dr. Anderson and I wish to hear your last rec- 
ollections on the island. Can you tell us how you 
came to be as we found you ?" 

"I am glad to hear that you have read my diary, 
Bir, for although it was not intended for any one 
but the girl I am engaged to, it saves a lot of ex- 
planation now. I can quite well see that any one 



reading what I have written must naturally put me 
down for either a iiar or a lunatic. But I can 
solemnly assure you, sir, that what I have written 
is the truth." 

"You remember all you have written?" asked 
Captain Evered. "You remember having conversa- 
tions with some one who informed you he was 
speaking to you from another planet — tti fact, from 
Venus ?" 

"I remember all quite clearly," said Macrae 
earnestly, "and I have written down the exact words 
that passed. The last conversation is still in short- 
hand only. If you wish, sir, I will now write it out." 

"I was about to tell you when Captain Evered 
came in," said Anderson, "that I have transcribed 
your shorthand. So that brings us down to the 
point where it ends so abruptly." 

The Interruption of the Communication 

MACRAE hesitated for a moment, as if loth 
to enter upon so distasteful a topic. 
"Yes," he said, at length, "it does leave 
off suddenly. That was when the interruption 
came." 

"The interruption?" Baid the doctor. ".What in- 
terruption ?" 

"Well, sir, it all began and ended in a few sec- 
onds. I scarcely know how to describe it. The 
voice was speaking to me, and seemed to be about 
to warn me of something, when suddenly there wa3 
another voice, a greater voice, oh! a voice" — Macrae 
sat up, and his hearers were surprised to see the 
look of awe that came into his face — "I cannot de- 
scribe it. It seemed to have great authority." 

"What did it say?" said the doctor. 

After a pause, during which Macrae was evi- 
dently taxing his memory, he said : 

"I cannot recall it. I seem to have a sort of re- 
membrance of something; that is the only way I 
can say it, but it is misty, all covered up. I can't 
remember the words, only the voice. 

Seeing the examination had proceeded as far as 
was good for his patient, Dr. Anderson half rose 
with a view to close the conversation, but Captain 
Evered motioned him to sit down again. He then 
said to Macrae: 

"You said, 'a great voice.' Do you mean a louder 
voice, one that you could hear more distinctly, and 
which drowned the other?" 

"I don't know that it was a louder voice," said 
Macrae; "but there was something in the tone, the 
force of it, that would make one attend. I can't 
describe it any more." 

"It had a great influence on you, then?" inquired 
Captain Evered. 

"Yes; a great influence," replied Macrae, with an 
involuntary shudder. 

"How long did it last?" 

A Violent Blow— Oblivion 
"AT once there was an interruption from the 
l\ first voice, and sounds like a dispute, but 
. J. \. not in words. It all began and ended so 
quickly, that it's a sort of jumble in my recollection. 
The only thing that remains clear is that two voices 
came through the instrument, and spoke to me at 
the same time. Although I can't remember the 
words, I know both seemed to exert 



310 



AMAZING STORIES 



me. The one seemed fighting the other, but the sec- 
ond voice was gaining. Then there was suddenly 
something like darkness, and a sharp command from 
the first voice. I seemed to be struck a violent blow 
on the buck of my head. The next thing I knew was 
finding myself on board this ship." 

"That is absolutely all you know about it?" ques- 
tioned Captain Evered. 

"That is all, sir." 

"Try and forget it for to-night," said the doctor. 
"Get to sleep as fast as you can, and to-morrow get 
up and have a turn on deck." 

They wished him "good-night," and left the cabin. 
For hours the two men talked in the privacy of Cap- 
tain Evered's cabin, but they ended as they began. 
Each knew that he was half carried away by the 
story' Macrae had told, both from the internal evi- 
dence of the report itself, and his evident sincerity. 
At the same time each saw its extraordinary nature 
too clearly to admit yielding an entire belief in it, 
even to himself, much less to any one else. 

"He seems perfectly sane to you?" questioned 
Captain Evered. 

"Quite so; as rational as you or I," was the re- 
sponse. 

"Well, I shall follow your advice respecting Pro- 
fessor Rudge," said Captain Evered. "There should 
be no difficulty in his seeing Macrae. We shall land 
him to-morrow, and from Hong-Kong he will be in- 
valided home, accompanied by my report, and, of 
course, these writings of his. I shall report him as 
not, in my opinion, suited to this kind of service. 
You will be able to endorse that." 

"I can," said Anderson. "Macrae is one of the 
subjective sort. Did you notice how full his diary 
is of himself?" 

"Exactly. By the by, what did you make of two 
voices, and a blow on the head?" 

"Well, I suppose two voices are not more mysteri- 
ous than one," said Anderson. "If you can believe 
in one, why not two? According to him, there would 
appear to be disagreement sometimes, even among 
our friends the Venerians. There's a party, I sup- 
pose, who want to have nothing to do with us." 

"Probably," smiled Captain Evered, adding, "I 
intend, in addition to suggesting that this account 
of his be submitted to Professor Rudge, to drop a 
private line or two to the Professor himself, letting 
him know there is something in the wind. A Gov- 
ernment Department, my dear Anderson (being in 
this ease the Admiralty, I hope I am not speaking 
blasphemy), will go about as far as it is kicked. 
But I think Rudge will not let them shelve it." 

The Operator Returns to His Sweetheart 
^|0 it. came about that Macrae found himself on 
the homeward journey much before he had 
anticipated when leaving England. It did not 
exhilarate him, as he was oppressed with a feeling 
of failure, without being able to see how he could 
have done differently. He was afraid that what 
would be looked upon as a preposterous story would 
militate against him, and the Government might not 
find him even home employment. This feeling of 
depression lasted until entering the Bay of Biscay, 
when grey skies reminded him of his native hills. 
The wind of the Atlantic, with a tooth in it, blew 
on him, aad his spirits rose. 



A telegram advised May Treherne of her lover's 
unexpected return, and she was at Portsmouth to 
meet him. Hers was one of the first faces he saw, 
and her welcome completed the cure that northern 
skies had begun. 

Macrae's keen eyes did not fail to see in hers the 
involuntary question that tact was keeping from 
her lips, and he wondered how he was going to 
answer it, seeing that he was bound to secrecy. 

It was no secret that he had been at a "wireless" 
station, and there could not be any breach of trust 
in saying the position was somewhat isolated. There 
were plenty which that description would suit. So 
he told her how, during a short absence of his from 
the station-house, his fellow workers had been 
murdered, and he had returned to find their dead 
bodies, and himself the only survivor; how he had 
fallen unconscious; how, in consequence of the 
shock to his system, he had been relieved, and placed 
on sick leave and ultimately sent back for service at 
a home station. He added that there were some 
other details which, in view of the strictness of of- 
ficial secrecy he could not divulge. 

She was horrified at the tale, and clung to him in 
her gratitude that he had escaped. 

"Suppose, dear Alan, you had been at the sta- 
tion when those wretches murdered your compan- 
ions. You would have been murdered too. Oh! I 
am glad you are back in England. When I got your 
telegram I was awfully surprised." 

He saw his explanation had relieved her mind of 
something. It also seemed to have loosened her 
tongue, for now he had very little to do but be a 
patient listener, and hear a full account of her 
somewhat uneventful history during his absence, 
and discuss plans for the future as modified by this 
new development. 

The Government Investigations in London 

THAT evening May Treherne returned to Ply- 
mouth, and Macrae proceeded to report him- 
self in London. The next morning he pre- 
sented himself at the Admiralty, and was given an 
hour at which to attend the next day, "when the re- 
port respecting him would have been read." He 
then found himself put through a very searching 
examination, for there had been considerable 
nervousness that some scheme of a possible enemy 
was at the bottom of the business. It came as a 
surprise to the officials to find that after the most 
exhaustive questioning, nothing could be gleaned 
to lend color to this suspicion. 

It was obviously a relief to his examiners to find 
that everything went to indicate that the deaths 
took place as officially reported, first by Macrae 
himself, and afterwards by the Captain of the 
Sagitta. For the rest, it had of course been a curi- 
ous case of delusionswhile under the influence of 
nervous shock. His diary was confiscated. He wa3 
reprimanded for having written it, and especially 
for including expressions that would serve as indi- 
cations of things that were Government secrets. He 
would for the future be retained at home stations 
so long as no further indiscretion was committed, 
and was further directed to present himself for 
duty at the end of a month, granted as leave of ab- 
sence. , 

The next day found Macrae at Plymouth, and) 



STATION X 



311 



now appeared the wisdom of Captain Everett in 
writing to Professor Rudge; for had he not done 
so, nothing further would have been heard of Mac- 
rae's experiences on the island of Station X. 

The tetter he received had not contained much in- 
formation, but enough to make him want to know 
more. He had an interview with the First Lord 
and, as a result, Macrae's account of his experiences 
wag placed in his hands, with the request that all 
requisite caution should be employed. 

Professor Rudge read Macrae's account with un- 
bounded astonishment. When he had read the pages 
a second time his mind was made up. He was a man 
of quick decision, and equally quick action. 

The next morning Macrae received a letter from 
Professor Eudge, enclosing a remittance for ex- 
penses, and asking him as a favor to come back to 
town, and call on him at his earliest convenience, 
"with a view to the further investigation of your 
recent remarkable experience." This phrase showed 
Macrae that his correspondent must bo in touch 
with the authorities, and he felt bound to comply at 
once, although not without a grumble both on his 
part and that of his fiancie. 



Examinat 



i of the Operator 



AGAIN Macrae found himself put through an 
examination, this time it was more search- 
ing, more detailed, more minute, than any 
he had had before. Absolutely no point escaped the 
savant. He was at least as competent as Dr. Ander- 
son to investigate the examinee as to his mental 
health, far more competent to probe his character, 
disposition, ways of thought and general knowledge, 
..and form an accurate opinion as to his personal 
peculiarities. Macrae himself described the pro- 
cess as that of being turned completely inside out. 

Before it was finished he had taken a great lik- 
ing to the Professor. The training of the scientist 
had taught Professor Rudge to approach his sub- 
ject without prejudice, and, under the influence of 
his sympathetic manner, Macrae opened out and 
laid himself bare, as he would not have believed 
possible. Next, the conversation was turned on the 
radio installation at the station, and Macrae found 
that, on the subject he knew most of, his knowledge 



F 



was small compared with that of his examiner. He 
was questioned on every detail, however apparently 
irrelevant. 

Professor Rudge Decides to Visit Station X 
IN" ALLY they went through, almost word for 
word, the communications of "the voice." In- 
numerable questions were asked respecting 
the voice itself. He was very especially questioned, 
he could not tell why, regarding any peculiarity in 
respect to stress or accent on the various syllables, 
and modulation of intonation. He was able to reply 
very intelligently to this, being quick to understand 
the meaning of the question, no doubt the more so 
from being himself bi-lingual. He noticed that the 
Professor seemed pleased at eliciting the informa- 
tion that, while the articulation and pronunciation 
were accurate, accent and modulation were notably 
deficient, making the style rather monotonous. A 
special peculiarity volunteered by Macrae, was that 
every sentence seemed to end abruptly, with no fall- 
ing of the voice, as though, in fact, it had been in- 
tended to add more. 

At last, when the examination seemed almpst 
over, Macrae himself ventured to put the question 
as to what conclusion, if any, his questioner had 
come to. 

"I have come to several, Macrae; and as I ob- 
served that you have an uncomfortable feeling that 
people will doubt your sincerity, let me at once say 
that such a thing is not intelligently possible. Even 
with the greatest desire to deceive, you could not 
possibly have duped me for a moment on this mat- 
ter." 

"The voice spoke to me?" asked Macrae eagerly. 

"Undoubtedly. There is not the least possibility 
that you are yourself deceived in that," replied the 



"I am very glad I came to see you, sir," said 
Macrae, with a sigh of relief; "and all I ask now 
is to forget the whole thing, voice, island and all." 

"Then you ask a great deal too much, my boy!" 
said Professor Eudge, with a smile. "Shall I tell 
you how much you have interested me? The best 
way to do so is to tel! you the intention I have 
formed. I am going to visit Station X, and I am go- 
ing to take you with me !" 



(To be Continued in the August Issue) 



Back Numbers of * Amazing Stories" 

"nVTO doubt you will be interested to know, if you have not yet secured them, that back num- 
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Contents o£ the firs 



(April) i 

I) by Jules Ver 
by II. G. Wells. 



- by G. Peyton W.ii-tuM.i.a! 
■ . ■■ mniinc Hflvcniurcs of Mr. Kosrliclt," 
Mr. F'osdick Invents tin, "StiJlitzmolMlc," liy Jjcq 
'The SCar," by H. G. Wells. 

"iv:, ;,::■:■:,„. Kii !i;1 -," i„ ci^.-ies S. Wolfe. 

--— y Skyscraper," by J' 



n Expc 






■i'Gvt.i-llr..-. 

by c 



;byE 



;s: EXPERIMENTER PUBLISHING CO., 
53 Park Place, New York City 



_ 



fpk MM miO COULD WMMffiACLES 




, t lhe Lang Draron bar. 



*3tZ' 



THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES 



313 




CHAPTER I 
A Pantoum in Prose 
The Ear of the Long Dragon 
T is doubtful whether the gift was in- 
nate. For my own part, I think it came 
to him suddenly. Indeed, until he was 
thirty he was a sceptic, and did not be- 
lieve in miraculous powers. And here, 
since it is the most convenient place, I must mention 
that .he was a little man, and had eyes of a hot 
brown, very erect red hair, a moustache with ends 
that he twisted up, and freckles. His name was 
George McWhirter Fotheringay — not the sort of 
name by any means to lead to any expectation of 
miracles — and he was clerk at Gomshott's. He was 
greatly addicted to assertive argument. It was while 
he was asserting the impossibility of miracles that 
he had his first intimation of his extraordinary 
powers. This particular argument was being held 
in the bar of the Long Dragon, and Toddy Beamish 
wa3 conducting the opposition by a monotonous but 
effective "So you say," that drove Mr. Fotheringay 
to the very limit of his patience. 

There were present, besides these two, . a very 
dusty cyclist, landlord Cox, and Miss Maybridge, 
the perfectly respectable and rather portly barmaid 
of the Dragon. Miss Maybridge was standing with 
her back to Mr. Fotheringay, washing glasses; the 
others were watching him, more or less amused by 
the present ineffectiveness of the assertive method. 
Goaded by the Torres Vedras tactics of Mr. Beam- 
ish, Mr. Fotheringay determined to make an unusual 
rhetorical effort. "Looky here, Mr. Beamish," said 
Mr. Fotheringay. "Let us clearly understand what 
a miracle is. It's something contrariwise to the 
-course of nature, done by power of will, something 
what couldn't happen unless specially willed," 
"So you say," said Mr. Beamish, repulsing him. 



Discussing Miracles. The Inverted Lamp 



M 



R. FOTHERINGAY appealed to the cyclist, 
who had hitherto 



a silent 
auditor, and received his 
assent — given with a hesi- 
tating cough and a glance 
at Mr. Beamish. The 
landlord would express no 
opinion, and Mr. Fother- 
ingay, returning to Mr. 
Beamish, received the un- 
expected concession of a 
qualified assent to his defi- 
nition of a miracle. 

"For instance," said 
Mr. Fotheringay, greatly 
encouraged. "Here would 
be a miracle. That lamp 
in the natural course of 



TXTHEN you start reading this story by the famous au- 
thor you beoin to louder >ehy such teeming nonsense 
ever was committed to paper. You begin to doubt -if it 
was really written, by H. C. '.Veils, and as you proceed the 
thought dawns upon you thai he probably wrota it before 
he was ten years old. 

This thought gains conviction until the final denouement, 
when the author fully repeals himself, and you have the 
sinking feeling that ike joke is on you. 

This intercstimi story should be read at least twice, in 
order to get the fullest enjoyment from it, and, incident- 
ally, although this story was written before the recogni- 
tion, of the Einstein Theory, it is an excellent illustration 
of the modern conception of time-space. 

Personally we consider it a masterpiece and heartily 
reeoiiiiiieiul it to our readers. 



stands as it might be here, and says to that lamp, 
as I might do, collecting all my will— Turn upsy- 
down without breaking, and go on burning steady, 

and Hallo!" 

It was enough to make any one say "Hallo!" The 
impossible, the incredible, was visible to them all. 
The lamp hung inverted in the air, burning quietly 
with its flame pointing down. It was as solid, as in- 
disputable as ever a lamp was, the prosaic common 
lamp of the Long Dragon bar. 

Mr, Fotheringay stood with an extended fore- 
finger and the knitted brows of one anticipating a 
catastrophic smash. The cyclist, who was sitting 
next the lamp, ducked and jumped across the bar. 
Everybody jumped, more or less. Miss Maybridge 
turned and screamed. For nearly three seconds the 
lamp remained still. A faint cry of mental distress 
came from Mr. Fotheringay. "I can't keep it up," 
he said, "any longer." He staggered back, and the 
inverted lamp suddenly flared, fell against the cor- 
ner of the bar, bounced aside, smashed upon the 
floor, and went out. 

It was lucky it had a metal receiver, or the whole 
place would have been in a blaze. Mr. Cox was the 
first to speak, and his remark, shorn of needless ex- 
crescences, was to the effect that Fotheringay was 
a fool. Fotheringay was beyond disputing even so 
fundamental a proposition as that ! He was aston- 
ished beyond measure at the thing that had oc- 
curred. The subsequent conversation threw abso- 
lutely no light on the matter so far as Fotheringay 
was concerned; the general opinion not only followed 
Mr. Cox very closely but very vehemently. Every 
one accused Fotheringay of a silly trick, and pre- 
sented him to himself as a foolish destroyer of com- 
fort and security. His mind was in a tornado of 
perplexity, he was himself inclined to agree with 
them, and he made a remarkably ineffectual oppo- 
sition to the proposal of his departure. 

He went home flushed and heated, coat-collar 
crumpled, eyes smarting, and ears red. He watched 
each of the ten street lamps nervously as he passed 

■■ it. It was only when he 

Ktfl TffiMBffllBBlB Braaas^ffla found himself alone in his 
little bedroom in Church 
Row that he was able to 
grapple seriously with his 
memories of the occur- 
rence, and ask, "What on 
earth happened?" 



CHAPTER II 

The Power o£ the Human 

Win 

" E had removed his 

coat and boots, 

and was sitting 

on the bed with his hands 

in his pockets repeating 



H' 



nature, couldn't burn like that upsy-down, could it, s;the text of his defence for the seventeenth time, "I 



Beamish?" 

'Tom say it couldn't," said Beamish, 

"And you?" said Fotheringay. "You don't mean 
to say — eh?" 

"No," said Beamish reluctantly. "No, it couldn't." 

"Very well," said Mr. Fotheringay. "Then here 
comes some one, as it might be me, along here, and 



didn't want the confounded thing to upset," when 
it occurred to him that at the precise moment he 
had said the commanding words he had inadvertent- 
ly willed the thing he said, and that when he had 
seen the lamp in the air he had felt that it depended 
on him to maintain it there without being clear how 
this was to be done. He had not a particularly com- 



314 



AMAZING STORIES 



pies mind, or he might have stuck for a time at that 
"inadvertently willed," embracing, as it does, the 
abstrusest problems of voluntary action; but as it 
was, the idea came to him with a quite acceptable 
haziness. And from that, following, as I must ad- 
mit, no clear logical path, he came to the test of ex- 
periment. 

He pointed resolutely to his candle and collected 
his mind, though he felt he did a foolish thing. "Be 
raised up," he said. But in a second that feeling 
vanished. The candle was raised, bung in the air 
one giddy moment, and as Mr. Fotheringay gasped, 
fell with a smash on his toilet-table, leaving him in 
■darkness save for the expiring glow of its wick. 

For a time Mi-. Fotheringay sat in the darkness, 
perfectly still. "It did happen, after all," he said. 
"And W I'm to explain it I don't know." He sighed 
heavily, and began feeling in his pockets for a 
match. He could find none, and he rose and groped 
about the toilet-table. "I wish I had a match," he 
said. He resorted to his coat, and there was none 
there, and then it dawned upon him that miracles 
were possible even with matches. He extended a 
hand and scowled at it in the dark. "Let there be 
a match in that hand," he said. He felt some light 
object fall across his palm and bis fingers closed 
upon a match. 

After several ineffectual attempts to light this, he 
discovered it was a safety match. He threw it 
down, and then it occurred to him that he might 
have willed it lit. He did, and perceived it burning 
in the midat of his toilet-table mat. He caught it 
up hastily, and it went out. His perception of pos- 
sibilities enlarged, and he felt for and replaced the 
candle in its candlestick. "Here ! you be lit," said 
Mr. Fotheringay, and forthwith the candle was flar- 
ing, and he saw a little black hole in the toilet-cover, 
■with a wisp of smoke rising from it. For a time he 
stared from this to the little flame and back, and 
then looked up and met his own gaze in the looking- 
giass. By this help he communed with himself in 
silence for a time. 

"How about miraeles now?" said Mr. Fotheringay 
at last, addressing his reflection. 

Mr. Fotheringay Practices Miracles Upon Himself 
With Great Success 

THE subsequent meditations of Mr. Fother- 
ingay were of a severe but confused descrip- 
tion. So far, he could see it was a case of pure 
willing with him. The nature of his experiences 
so far disinclined him for any further experi- 
ments, at least until he had reconsidered them. But 
he lifted a sheet of 'paper, and turned a glass of 
water pink and then green, and he created a snail, 
which be miraculously annihilated, and got him- 
self a miraculous new toothbrush. Somewhere 
in the small hours he had reached the fact that 
his will-power must be of a particularly rare and 
pungent quality, a fact of which he had indeed 
had inldings before, but no certain assurance. 
The scare and perplexity of his first discov- 
ery was now qualified by pride in this evidence 
of singularity and by vague intimations of advant- 
age. He became aware that the church clock was 
striking one, and as it did not occur to him that his 
daily duties at Gomshott's might be miraculously 
dispensed with, he resumed undressing, in order to 



get to bed without further delay. As he struggled 
to get his shirt over his head, he was struck with a 
brilliant idea. "Let me be in bed," he said, and 
found himself so. "Undressed," he stipulated; and 
finding the sheets cold,. added hastily, "and in my 
nightshirt — no, in a nice soft woolen nightshirt. 
Ah!" he said with immense enjoyment. "And now 
let me be comfortably asleep. . ." 

He awoke at his usual hour and was pensive all 
through breakfast-time, wondering whether bis 
overnight experience might not be a particularly 
vivid dream. At length his mind turned again to 
cautious experiments. For instance, he had three 
eggs for breakfast; two his landlady had supplied, 
good, but shoppy, and one was a delicious fresh 
goose egg, laid, cooked, and served by his extra- 
ordinary will. He hurried off to Gomshott's in a 
state of profound but carefully concealed excite- 
ment, and only remembered the shell of the third 
egg when his landlady spoke of it that night. All 
day he could do no work because of this astonishing 
new self-knowledge, but this caused him no incon- 
venience, because he made up for it miracuously in 
his last ten minutes. 

CHAPTER III. 
More Miracles Astonishing the Natives 

AS the day wore on his state of mind passed 
from wonder to elation, albeit the circum- 
stances of his dismissal from the Long Dra- 
gon were still disagreeable to recall, and a garbled 
account of the matter that had reached his col- 
leagues led to some bandinage. It was evident he 
must he careful how he lifted frangible articles, 
but in other ways his gift promised more and more 
as he turned it over in his mind. He intended 
among other things to increase his personal prop- 
erty by unostentatious acts of creation. He called 
into existence a pair of very splendid diamond 
studs, and hastily annihilated them again as young 
Gomshott came across the counting-house to his 
desk. He was afraid young Gomshott might won- 
der how he had come by them. He saw quite clear- 
ly the gift required caution and watchfulness in its 
exercise, but so far as he could judge the difficulties 
attending its mastery would be no greater than 
those he had already faced in the study of cycling. . 
It was that analogy, perhaps, quite as much as the 
feeling that he would be unwelcome in the Long 
Dragon, that drove him out after supper into the 
lane beyond the gasworks, to rehearse a few mir- 
acles in private. 

There waa possibly a certain want of originality 
in his attempts, for, apart from his will-power, Mr. 
Fotheringay was not a very exceptional man. The 
miracle of Moses' rod came to his mind, but the/ 
night was dark and unfavourable to the proper eon- ■■[' 
trol of large miraculous snakes. Then he recol- 
lected the story of "Tannhauser" that he had read 
on the back of the Philharmonic programme. That 
seemed to him singularly attractive and harmless. 
He stuck his walking-stick— a very nice Poona- 
Penang lawyer—- into the turf that edged the foot- 
path, and commanded the dry wood to blossom. 
The air was immediately full of the scent of roses, 
and by means of a match he saw for himself that 
this beautiful miracle was indeed accomplished. His 
satisfaction was ended by advancing footsteps. 



THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES 



31S 



Afraid of a premture discovery of hi3 powers, he 
addressed the blossoming stick hastily: "Go back." 
What he meant was "Change back"; but of course 
he was confused. The stick receded at a consider- 
able velocity, and incontinently came a ery of anger 
and a bad word from the approaching person. 
"Who are you throwing brambles at, you fool?" 
cried a voice. "That got me on the shin." 

Mr. Fotheringay Gets in Trouble with the Police and 

Disposes of the Officer as in the Nest Chapter 
(«"y 'M sorry, old chap," said Mr. Fotheringay, 
I and then, realizing the awkward nature of 

JL the explanation, caught nervously at his 
moustache. He saw Winch, one of the three Im- 
mering constables, advancing. 

"What do you mean by it?" asked the constable. 
"Hallo! it's you, is it? The gent that broke the 
lamp at the Long Dragon!" 

"I don't mean anything by it," said Mr. Fother- 
ingay. "Nothing at all." 

"What d'yer do it for then?" 

"Oh, bother!" said Mr. Fotheringay. 

"Bother indeed! D'yer know that stick hurt? 
What d'yer do it for, eh?" 

For the moment Mr. Fotheringay could not think 
what he had done it for. His silence seemed to 
irritate Mr. Winch. "You've been assaulting the 
police, young man, this time. That's what you 
done." 

"Look here, Mr. Winch," said Mr. Fotheringay, 
annoyed and confused. "I'm sorry, very. The fact 
i3 " 

"Well?" 

He could think of no way but the truth, "I was 
—working a miracle." He tried to speak in an off- 
hand way, but try as he would he couldn't. 



Mo 



CHAPTER IV. 
: Trouble About the Policeman 



"Tit TO RKI NGa— ! 'Ere, don't you talk rot. 

\J\ I Working a miracle, indeed ! Miracle ! 

f T Well, that's downright funny ! Why, you's 

the chap that don't believe in miracles . . . Fact 

is, this is another of your silly conjuring tricks — ■ 

that's what this is. Now, I tell you " 

But Mr. Fotheringay never heard what Mr. 
Winch was going to tell him. He realized he hall 
given himself away, flung his valuable secret to all 
the winds of heaven. A violent gust of irritation 
swept over him to action. He turned on the con- 
stable swiftly and fiercely. "Here," he said, "I've 
had enough of this, I have! I'll show you "a silly 
conjuring trick, I will! Go to Hades! Go, now! 

He was alone! 

Mr. Fotheringay performed no more miracles that 
night, nor did he trouble to see what had become of 
his flowering stick. He returned to the town, scared 
and very quiet, and went to his bedroom. "Lord !" 
he said, "it's a powerful gift— an extremely power- 
ful gift. I didn't hardly mean as much as that. 
Not really ... I wonder what Hades is like !" 

He sat on the bed taking off his boots. Struck 
by a happy thought he transferred the constable to 
San Francisco, and without any more interference 
with normal caution went soberly to bed. In the 
night he dreamt of the anger of Winch. 



The next day Mr. Fotheringay heard two interest- 
ing items of news. Some one had planted a most 
beautiful climbing rose against the elder Gomshott's 
private house in the Lullaborough Road, and the 
river as far as Rawiing's Mill was to be dragged 
for Constable Winch. 

Mr. Fotheringay was abstracted and thoughtful 
all that day, and performed no miracles except 
certain provisions for Winch, and the miracle of 
completing his day's work with punctual perfec- 
tion in spite of all the bee-swarm of thoughts that 
hummed through his mind. And the extraordinary 
abstraction and meekness of his manner was re- 
marked by several people, and made a matter of 
jesting. For the most part he was thinking of 
Winch. 

On Sunday evening he went to chapel, and, oddly 
enough. Mr. Maydig, who took a certain interest in 
occult matters, preached about "things that are not 
lawful." Mr. Fotheringay was not a regular ehapel- 
goer, but the system of assertive scepticism, to 
which I have already alluded, was now very much 
shaken. The tenor of the sermon threw an entirely 
new light on these novel gifts, and he suddeniy 
decided to consult Mr. Maydig immediately after 
the service. So soon as that was determined he 
found himself wondering why he had not done so 
before. 

Mr. Maydig, a lean, excitable man with quite re- 
markably long wrists and neck, was gratified at a 
request for a private conversation from a young 
man whose carelessness in religious matters wa3 a 
subject for general remark in the town. After a 
few necessary delays, he conducted him to the study 
of the manse, which was contiguous to the chapel, 
seated him comfortably, and, standing, in front of a 
cheerful fire — his legs threw a Rhodian arch of 
shadow on the opposite wall— requested Mr. Fother- 
ingay to state his business. 

At first Mr. Fotheringay was a little abashed, and 
found some difficulty in opening the matter. "You 
will scarcely believe me, Mr. Maydig, I am afraid" 
— and so forth for some time. He tried a question 
at last, and asked Mr. Maydig his opinion of mir- 
acles. 

CHAPTER V. 
Interviewing a Clergyman 
R. MAYDIG was still saying "Well" in an 
extremely judicial tone, when Mr. Foth- 
eringay interrupted again: "You don't be- 
lieve, I suppose, that some common sort of person 
—like myself, for instance— as it might be sitting 
here now, might have some sort of twist inside him 
that made him able to do things by his will." 

"It's possible," said Mr. Maydig. "Something of 
the sort, perhaps, is possible." 

"If I might make free with something here, I 
think I might show you by a sort of experiment," 
said Mr. Fotheringay. "Now, take that tobacco-jar 
on the table, for instance. What I want to know is 
whether what I am going to do with it is a miracle 
or not. Just half a minute, Mr. Maydig, please." 

He knitted his brows, pointed to the tobacco-jar 
and said: "Be a bow! of vi'lets."* 
The tobacco-jar did as it was ordered. 
Mr. Maydig started violently at the change; and 
stood looking from the thaumaturgist to the~bowl of 



316 



AMAZING STORIES 



flowers. He said nothing. Presently he ventured 
to lean over the table and smell the violets; they 
were fresh-picked and very fine ones. Then he 
stared at Mr. Fotheringay again. 

"How did you do that?" he asked. 

Mr. Fotheringay pulled his moustache. "Just told 
it — and there you are. . Is that a miracle, or is it 
black art, or what is it? And what do you think's 
the matter with me? That'3 what I want to ask." 

"It's a most extraordinary occurrence." 

"And this day last week I knew no more that I 
could do things like that than you did. It came 
quite sudden. It's something odd about my will, 
I suppose, and that's as far as I can see." 

"Is that — the only thing. Could you do other 
things besides that?" 

"Lord, yes!" said Mr. Fotheringay. "Just any- 
thing." He thought, and suddenly recalled a conjur- 
ing entertainment he had seen. "Here!" he point- 
ed, "change into a bowl of fish — not, not that— 
change into a glass bowl full of water with gold- 
fish swimming in it. That's better! You see that, 
Mr. Maydig?" 

"It's astonishing. It's incredible. You are either 
a most extraordinary . . . But no " 

"I could change it into anything," said Mr. Foth- 
eringay. "Just anything. Here ! be a pigeon, will 
you?" 

In another moment a blue pigeon was fluttering 
round the room and making Mr. Maydig duck every 
time it came near him. "Stop there, will you?" said 
Mr. Fotheringay; and the pigeon hung motionless 
in the air. "I could change it back to a bowl of 
flowers," he said, and after replacing the pigeon 
on the table worked that miracle. "I expect you 
will want your pipe in a bit," he said, and restored 
the tobacco-jar. 

Mr. Maydig Very Much Interested 

MR. MAYDIG had followed all these later 
changes in a sort of ejaculatory silence. 
He stared at Mr. Fotheringay and in a 
very gingerly manner picked up the tobacco-jar, ex- 
amined it, replaced it on the table. "Well!" was the 
only expression of his feelings. 

"Now, after that it's easier to explain what I 
came about," said Mr. Fotheringay; and proceeded 
to a lengthy and involved narrative of his strange 
experiences, beginning with the affair of the lamp 
in the Long Dragon and complicated by persistent 
allusions to Winch. As he went on, the transient 
pride of Mr. Maydig*s consternation had caused 
passed away; he became the very ordinary Mr. 
Fotheringay of everyday intercourse again. Mr. 
Maydig listened intently, the tobacco-jar in his 
hand, and his bearing ehanged also with the course 
of the narrative. Presently, while Mr. Fotheringay 
was dealing with the miracle of the third egg, the 
minister interrupted with a fluttering, extended 
hand. 

"It is possible," he said. "It is credible. It is 
amazing, of course, but it reconciles a number of 
amazing difficulties. The power to work miracles is 
a gift— a peculiar quality like genius or second 
sight; hitherto it has come very rarely and to ex- 
ceptional people. But in this case ... I have al- 
ways wondered at the miracles of Mahomet, and at 
Yogi's miracles, and the miracles of Madame Bla- 



vatsky. But, of course — ■ — Yes, it is simply a gift! 
It carries out so beautifully the arguments of that 
great thinker"-^Mr. Maydig's voice sank — "his 
Grace the Duke of Argyll. Here we plumb some 
profounder law — deeper than the ordinary laws of 
nature. Yes — yes. Go on. Go on !" 

CHAPTER VI 
A Long Talk With the Clergyman About Miracles 
R. FOTHERINGAY proceeded to tell of his 
misadventure with Winch, and Mr. Maydig, 
no longer overawed or scared, began to 
jerk his limbs about and interject astonishment. 
"It's this what troubled me most," proceeded Mr. 
Fotheringay; "it's this I'm most mijitly in want 
of advice for; of course he's at San Francisco— i 
wherever San Francisco may be — but of course it's 
awkward for both of us, as you'll see, Mr. Maydig. 
I don't see how he can understand what has hap- 
pened, and I dare say he's scared and exasperated 
something tremendous, and trying to get at me. I 
dare say he keeps on starting off to come here. I 
send him back, by a miracle every few hours when 
I think, of it. And of course, that's a thing he won't 
be able to understand, and it's bound to annoy him; 
And, of course, if he takes a ticket every time it 
will cost him a lot of money. I done the best I 
could for him, but, of course, its's difficult for him 
to put himself in my place. I thought afterwards 
that his clothes might have got scorched, you Itnow 
— if Hades is all. it's supposed to be — before I shift- 
ed him. In that case I suppose they'd have locked 
him up in San Francisco. Of course I willed him 
a new suit of clothes on him directly I thought of 
it. But, you see, I'm already in a deuce of a tangle 

Mr. Maydig looked serious. "I see you are in a 
tangle. Yes, it's a difficult position. How you are 
to end it . . ." He became diffused and inconclusive. 

"However, we'll leave Winch for a little and dis- 
cuss the larger question. I don't think this is a case 
of the black art or anything of the sort. I don't 
think there is any taint of criminality about it at 
all, Mr. Fotheringay — none whatever, unless you are 
suppressing material facts. No, it's miracles — pure 
miracles — miracles, if I may say so, of the very 
highest class." 

He began to pace the hearthrug and gesticulate, 
while Mr. Fotheringay sat with his arm on the 
table and his head on his arm, looking worried. 
"I don't see how I'm to manage about Winch," he 
said. 

"A gift of working miracles — apparently a very 
powerful gift," said Mr. Maydig, "will find a way 
about Winch — never fear. My dear sir, you are a 
most important man — a man of the most astonishing 
possibilities. As evidence, for example! And in 
other ways, the things you may do . . ." 

"Yes, I've thought of a thing or two," said Mr. 
Fotheringay. "But — some of the things came a bit 
twisty. You saw that fish at first? Wrong sort of 
bowl and wrong sort of fish. And I thought I'd 
ask some one." 

"A proper course," said Mr. Maydig, "a very 
proper course — altogether the proper course." He 
stopped and looked at Mr. Fotheringay. "It's prac- 
tically an unlimited gift. Let us test your' powers. 



THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES 



317 



For instance If they really are) ... If they really 

are all they seem to be." 

The Clergyman Calls for More Miracles 

AND so, incredible as it may seem, in the 
study of the little house behind the Con- 
gregational Chapel, on the evening of 
Sunday, Nov. 10, 1896, Mr. Fotheringay, egged on 
and inspired by Mr. Maydig; began to work 
miracles. The reader's attention is specially 
and definitely called to the date. He will ob- 
ject, probably has objected, that certain points 
in this story are improbable, that if any things of 
the sort already described had indeed occurred, they 
would have been in all the papers at that time. 
The details immediately following he will find par- 
ticularly hard to accept, because among other things 
they involve the conclusion that he or she, the reader 
in question, must have been killed in a violent 
and unprecedented manner more than a year ago. 
Now a miracle is nothing if not improbable, and 
as a matter of fact the reader was killed in a violent 
and unprecedented manner in 1896. In the subse- 
quent course of this story that will become perfectly 
clear and credible, as every right-minded and reas- 
onable reader will admit. But this is -not the place 
for the end of the story, being but little beyond the 
hither side of the middle. And at first the miracles 
worked by Mr. Fotheringay were timid little mir- 
acles — little things with the cups and parlour fit- 
ments, aa feeble as the miracles of Theosophists, 
and, feeble as they were, they were received with 
awe by his collaborator. He would have preferred 
to settle the Winch business out of hand, but Mr. 
Maydig would not let him. But after they had 
worked a dozen of these domestic trivialities, their 
sense of power grew, their imagination began to 
show'- signs of stimulation, and their ambition en- 
larged. Their first larger enterprise was due to 
hunger and negligence of Mrs. Minchin, Mr. 
Maydig's housekeeper. The meal to which the min- 
ister conducted Mr. Fotheringay was certainly ill- 
laid and uninviting as refreshment for two indus- 
trious miracle- workers, but they were seated, and 
Mr. Maydig was descanting in sorrow rather than 
in anger upon his housekeeper's shortcomings, be- 
fore it occurred to Mr. Fotheringay that an oppor- 
tunity lay before him. 

"Don't you think, Mr. Maydig," he said, "If it 
isn't a liberty, / " 

"My dear Mr. Fotheringay! Of course! No — ; 
I don't think." 

CHAPTER VII. 
A Miraculous Meal and Many Reforms 

MR. FOTHERINGAY waved his hand. 
"What shall we have?" he said, in a large, 
inclusive spirit, and, at Mr. Maydig's or- 
der, revised the supper very thoughtfully, "As for 
me," he said, eyeing Mr, Maydig's selection, "I am 
always particularly fond of a tankard of stout, and 
a nine Welsh rarebit, and I'll order that. I ain't 
much given to Burgundy," and forthwith stout and 
Welsh rarebit promptly appeared at his command. 
They sat long at their supper, talking like equals, 
as Mr. Fotheringay presently perceived, with a glow 
of surprise and gratification, of all the miracles they 



would presently do. "And, by-the-by, Mr. Maydig," 
said Mr. Fotheringay, "I might perhaps be able 
to help you — in a domestic way." 

"Don't quite follow," said Mr. Maydig, pouring 
out a glass of miraculous old Burgundy. 

Mr. Fotheringay helped himself to a second Welsh 
rarebit out of vacancy, and took a mouthful. "I 
was thinking," he said, "I might be able ■ (chum, 
chum) to work (chum, chum) a miracle with Mrs. 
Minchin (chum, chum) — make her a better woman." 

Mr. Maydig put down the glass and looked doubt- 
ful. "She's — She strongly objects to interference, 
you know, Mr. Fotheringay. And — as a matter of 
fact — it's well past eleven and she's probably in bed 
and asleep. Do you think, on the whole " 

Mr. Fotheringay considered these obj'ections. "I 
don't see that it shouldn't be done in her sleep." 

For a time Mr. Maydig opposed the idea, and then 
he yielded. Mr. Fotheringay issued his orders, and 
a little less at their ease, perhaps, the two gentle- 
men proceeded with their repast. Mr. Maydig was 
enlarging on the changes he might expect in his 
housekeeper next day with an optimism that seemed 
even to Mr. Fotheringay's supper sense a little 
forced and hectic, when a series of confused noises 
from upstairs began. Their eyes exchanged inter- 
rogations, and Mr. Maydig left the room hastily. 
Mr. Fotheringay heard him calling up to his house- 
keeper and then his footsteps going softly up to her. 

In a minute or so the minister returned, his step 
light, his face radiant. "Wonderful!" he said, "and 
touching! Most touching!" 

He began pacing the hearthrug. "A repentance — 
a most touching repentance — through the crack of 
the door. Poor woman ! A most wonderful change I 
She had got up. She must have got up at once. 
She had got up out of her sleep to smash a private 
bottle of brandy in her box. And to confess it too! 
. . . But this gives us— it opens — a most amazing 
vista of possibilities. If we can work this miracu- 
lous change in her . , ." 

"The thing's unlimited seemingly," said Mr. Foth- 
eringay. "And about Mr. Winch " 

"Altogether unlimited." And from the hearthrug 
Mr. Maydig, waving the Winch difficulty aside, un- 
folded a series of wonderful proposals — proposals he 
invented as he went along. 

Now what those proposals were does not concern 
the essentials of this story. Suffice it that they were 
designed in a spirit of infinite benevolence, the sort 
of benevolence that used to be called post-prandial. 
Suffice it, too, that the problem of Winch remained 
unsolved. Nor is it necessary to describe how far 
that series got to its fulfilment. There were as- 
tonishing changes. The small hours found Mr. May- 
dig and Mr. Fotheringay careering across the chilly 
market square under the still moon, in a sort of 
ecstasy of thurmaturgy, Mr. Maydig all flap and 
gesture, Mr. Fotheringay short and bristling, and 
no longer abashed at hi3 greatness. They had re- 
formed every drunkard in the Parliamentary divi- 
sion, changed all the beer and alcohol to water 
(Mr. Maydig had overruled Mr. Fotheringay on this 
point) ; they had, further, greatly improved the 
railroad communication of the place, drained Flin- 
der's swamp, improved the soil of One Tree Hill 
and cored the vicar's wart. And they were going to 
see what could be done with the injured pier at 



318 



AMAZING STORIES 



South Bridge. "The place," gasped Mr. Maydig, 
"won't be the same place to-morrow. How surpris- 
ed and thankful every one will be!" And just at 
that moment the church clock struck three. 

CHAPTER VIII 
The Rotation of the Earth Stopped 
SAY," said Mr. Fotheringay, "that's three 
o'clock ! I must be getting back. I've got to 
; at business by eight. And besides, Mrs, 
Wimms " 

"We're only beginning," said Mr. Maydig, full of 
the sweetness of unlimited power. "We're only be- 
ginning. Think of all the good we're doing. When 
people wake " 

"But " said Mr. Fotheringay. 

Mr. Maydig gripped his arm suddenly. His eyes 
were bright and wild. "My dear chap," he said, 
"there's no hurry. Look": — he pointed to the moon 
at the zenith — "Joshua!" 

"Joshua," said Mr. Maydig. "Why not? Stop 
it." 

Mr. Fotheringay looked at the moon. 

"That's a bit tall," he said, after a pause. 

"Why not?" said Mr. Maydig. "Of course it 
doesn't stop. You stop the rotation of the earth, you 
know. Time stops. It isn't as if we were doing 
harm." 

"H'm!" said Mr. Fotheringay. ''Well," he sighed, 
"I'll try. Here!" 

He buttoned up his jacket and addressed himself 
to the habitable globe, with as good an assumption 
of confidence as lay in his power. "Jest stop ro- 
tating, will you?" said Mr. Fotheringay. 

Incontinently he was flying head over heels 
through the air at the rate of dozens of miles a 
minute. In spite of the innumerable circles he was 
describing per second he thought; for thought is 
wonderful — sometimes as sluggish as flowing pitch, 
sometimes as instantaneous as light. He thought 
in a second, and willed. "Let me come down safe 
and sound. Whatever else happens let me' down 
safe and sound." 

Mr. Fotheringay Starts a Terrific Storm 
E willed it only just in time, for his 
clothes, heated by his rapid flight through 
the air, were already beginning to singe. 
He came down with a forcible, but by no means 
injurious, bump in what appeared to be a 
mound of fresh-turned earth. A large mass 
of metal and masonry extraordinarily like the 
clock-tower in the middle of the market square, 
hit the earth near him, ricochetted over him, 
and fle.w into stonework, bricks and cement, like a 
bursting bomb. A hurtling cow hit one of the 
larger blocks and smashed like an egg. There was 
a crash that made all the most violent crashes of 
his past seem like the sound of falling dust, and 
this was followed by a descending series of lesser 
crashes. A vast wind roared throughout earth and 
heaven, so that he could scarcely lift his head to 
look. For a while he was too breathless and as- 
tonished even to see where he was or what had hap- 
pened. And this movement was to feel his head 
and reassure himself that his streaming hair was 
still his own. 



"Lord!" gasped Mr. Fotheringay, scarce able to 
speak for the gaie, "I've had a squeak! What's gone 
wrong? Storms and thunder. And only a minute 
ago a fine night. It's Maydig set me on to this sort 
of thing. Wtyat a wind! If I go on fooling in this 
way I'm bound to have a thundering accident! . . . 

"Where's Maydig?" 

''What a confounded mess everything's in!" 

He looked about him so far as his flapping jacket 
would permit. The appearance of things was really 
extremely strange. "The sky's all right anyhow," 
said Mr. Fotheringay. "And that's about all that 
is all right. And even there it looks like a terrific 
gale coming up. And even there's the moon over- 
head. Just as it was just now. Bright as midday. 

But as for the rest Where's the village? Where's 

— where's any thing? And what on earth set this 
wind a-blowing. I didn't order no wind." 

CHAPTER IX. 
A Strenuous Life 
■R. FOTHERINGAY struggled to get to his 
feet in vain, and after one failure, remain- 
ed on all fours, holding on. He surveyed the 
moonlit world to leeward, with the tails of his 
jacket streaming over his head. "There's something 
seriously wrong," said Mr. Fotheringay. "And 
what it is — goodness knows." 

Far and wide nothing was visible in the white 
glare through the haze of dust that drove before a 
screaming gale but tumbled masses of earth and 
heaps of inchoate ruins, no trees, no houses, no 
familiar shapes, only a wilderness of disorder, van- 
ishing at last into the darkness beneath the whirling 
columns and streamers, the lightnings and thunder- 
ings of a swiftly rising "storm. Near him in the 
livid glare was something that might once have been 
an elm-tree, a smashed mass of splinters, shivered 
from boughs to hase, and further a twisted mass of 
iron girders — only too evidently the viaduct — rose 
out of the piled confusion. 

You see when Mr. Fotheringay had arrested the 
rotation of the solid globe, he had made no stipu- 
lation concerning the trifling movables upon its sur- 
face. And the earth spins so fast that the surface 
at its equator is. travelling at rather more than a 
thousand miles an hour, and in these latitudes at 
more than half that pace. 

So that the village, and Mi'. Maydig, and Mr. 
Fotheringay, and everybody and everything had 
been jerked violently forward at about nine miles 
per second — that is to say much more -violently 
than if they had been fired out of a cannon. And 
every human being, every living creature, every 
house, and every tree— all the world as we know it 
— had been so jerked and smashed and utterly de- 
stroyed. That was all. 

Getting Rid of the Power of Performing Miracles 

TtESE things Mr. Fotheringay did not, of 
course, fully appreciate. But he perceived 
that his miracle had miscarried, and with 
that a great disgust of miracles came upon him. He 
was in darkness now, for the clouds had swept to- 
gether and blotted out his momentary glimpse of 
the moon, and the air was full of fitful struggling 
tortured wraiths of hail. A great roaring of wind 
£Goi]£iTvu,ed on page 380) 



%e FlLINE LlGHIWPOWER QW 

V / 




em* 

>IPANY '^ORGANIZED 

u 




'■ . . ■ 



glASON Q. FOSDICK closed the book that 

'4 ho had received by mail that morning, 

| "Electricity at a Glance," and for a long 

time stared at the blank wall of the tin- 



shop. Mr. Fosdick ■ 
Fosdick spent a great deal of 
his time in thought — probably 
most of his time. It was a com- 
mon saying in Whiffleville that 
"When Mr. Foadiek g.ete 
through his thinking something 
is going to happen 1" And in 
this the citizens were never 
disappointed, for invariably 
when Mr. Fosdick did get 
through his thinking something 
always did happen. Everybody 
liked the homely little man 
with the kindly face and the 
mild blue eye a, and in all the 
countryside none enjoyed a 
greater confidence and respect 



ras thinking. Mr. 



QCn-\'CF. is not the dry thin<i thai some 
u people would like us to believe. Mr. Fos- 
dirk, in this diflh-atiiH! I'd,-, d.-wiuslrtiies 
this most aptly. Did you. ever stroke a cat in 
the dork, aut! wniti: the shirks leap between 
your hand and the- cat's fur? Perhaps you 
did. I'ut i! remained for the illustrious Fos- 
dick to commercialize this great inherent 
power. The results were most amazing, as 
the readers will soon find out. 

Shirting with a single eat, highly charged 
with electricity, see what a catastrophe — no 
pun intended — lie brings upon himself. There 
is only one point we missed and that is 
"H-'hitl electrode in the experiment was the 
CAThodc?" 



than Mr. Fosdick, for he was an inventor and genius. 
In all matters pertaining to science he was the village 
authority — even a greater authority than old Pro- 
fessor Snooka, the fiercely hewhiskered savant of 
Doolittle College up on the hill. Snooks had once 

called him "a doddering tinker," 

but this Mr. Fosdick attributed 
to jealousy as did all the in- 
habitants of Whiffleville, for 
the Professor was a pompous 
man and an unpopular one. No 
fair-minded person could doubt 
Mr. Fosdick's versatility in the 
arts and crafts, for upon the 
signboard that hung over the 
sidewalk, in front of the door 
of the tinshop, was lettered his 
many accomplishments: . 



JASON QV1NCY FOSDICK 
Tinsmith, Key-Fitter 
and Scissors-Grinder 



31? 



320 



AMAZING STORIES 



As an inventor Mr. Fosdick had achieved great 
success. True, his patent corkscrew had never 
drawn a cork, but it had made a fair hairpin, and he 
had disposed of it as such for a dignified sum. His 
patent pump refused flatly to perform the duty for 
which it had been designed, but it turned out to be 
an excellent churn and the favorite creature of hi3 
inventive brain, his patent curling iron, was in 
service in countless homes throughout the broad 
land as a nut-cracker. 

A Wonderful Idea in the Field of Electric Power 

AS Mr. Fosdick gazed abstractedly at the bare 
wall in front of him he beetled his brows 
after the manner of all geniuses when con- 
centrating their minds upon some great and sud- 
denly discovered phenomenon in the wonderful 
world of science. As stated before, Mr. Fosdick was 
thinking. And the thing that immersed him so deep 
in thought was a sentence that he had just read in 
the book. Many would have passed it by, but M^- 
Fosdiek's eyes had no sooner fallen on the lines of 
type— less than a score of words in all — than it im- 
mediately revealed to him a wide field of experi- 
mental research and one replete with thrilling pos- 
sibilities. The momentous truth as told in the 
single, short and unobtrusive: sentence was: "Static 
electricity may be generated by rubbing together 
such substances as resin and fur." Little did Mr. 
Fosdick at the time snspect that his stumbling upon 
this bit of elementary science was to result in focus- 
ing upon him the fierce limelight of international 
publicity and to make Whiffle ville, for a brief forty- 
eight hours, the breathless topic of conversation 
throughout the civilized world. 

Fully an hour passed. The noon whistle blew at 
Eben Stetzle's chop mill announcing to all Whiflle- 
ville the arrival of the dinner hour, and then Mr. 
Fosdick with' the sigh of a tired man arose from his 
chair and started to close the shop. Had he fol- 
lowed out his intention this story would never have 
been written; but just as he was about to lock the 
front door there happened one of those strange and 
inexplicable things that so often change the destiny 
of men and nations — a large black cat walked across 
the threshold and sniffed rather contemptuously at 
Mr. Fosdiek's shins! 

Mr. Fosdick stared at the cat for a full minute 
and then he slowly put the key back in his pocket. 
"It's John L.!" he exclaimed. "By thunder, I'll try 
it!" 

Pulling out a drawer of the workbench he, after 
fumbling about in a bushel or so of wheels, springs, 
screw-eyes and other odds and ends so dear to the 
hearts of all geniuses, eventually drew forth a large 
chunk of resin. And then picking up the unsus- 
pecting John L. — so named after a highly successful 
pugiiist on account of his extremely belligerent dis- 
position — he placed the cat upon the bench and 
began to gently stroke him, fore and aft with the 
resin. Slowly the hair upon the cat's back began 
to rise and in a few minutes John L. had apparently 
grown to twice his normal size. No astronomer 
discovering some hitherto unknown planet — no 
mother gazing with loving eyes, at her first born, 
ever experienced the rapturous tumult of feelings 
that suffused Mr. Fosdick as he watched the rapidly 



expanding John L. Quickly wrapping a piece of 
copper wire around a water pipe, Mr. Fosdick with 
eyes burning with the excitement of the experiment, 
slowly pushed the other end of the wire in the direc- 
tion of John L.'s nose. Suddenly and without warn- 
ing there was a loud cracking soUnd, a hot blue 
flame shot out from the cat's nose to the end of the 
wire, and John L., with a -wild cry of rage, leaped 
some dozen feet in the air, and coming down, exe- 
cuted a neat right and left scratch upon the inven- 
tor's face; then with a single bound sprang through 
the door. 

"By Jinks!" cried Fosdick. "She works— she- 
works — she worlis !" 

The Feline Light and Power Co. Organized 

LESS than a week after Mr. Fosdick had made 
his experiment, all Whiffleville was thrown in- 
to a turnjoil of excitement by the erection of 
a mysterious crib-like structure back of his tinshop. 
Only a chosen few knew the purpose of the strange 
building, and they, Eben Stetzle and five other 
friends and admirers of Mr. Fosdick, maintained a 
sphynx-like silence. In fact these men, having paid 
in ten dollars apieee to Mr. Fosdick, constituted the 
stockholders and the first board of directors of The 
Feline Light and Power Co. 

The plan of organization was broad and com- 
prehensive. Tlie Feline Light and Power Co. was 
to be the parent company. Mr. Fosdick assured the 
directors that it should, by virtue of the ownership 
of basic patents which he was sure to obtain, control 
all the other companies that would spring up 
throughout the country, just as soon as the parent 
company had demonstrated the success of the new 
method of power generation. 

Briefly, the new power plant consisted of a room 
hardly larger than a piano box elevated some three 
feet from the ground by insulating pillars of glazed 
brick. The floor and the walls of the room were 
coated with a four-inch lining of pure resin. Into 
this room a "plurality of cats," so the patent ap- 
plication read, "were to be liberated therein by drop- 
ping them through the trap door (A) to the resin- 
covered floor (B) upon which surface they will con- 
duct themselves in the manner hereinafter describ- 
ed." The prospectus which Mr. Fosdick had already 
started to work upon told in simpler language that 
the friction of the cats against the surface of the 
resin would generate electricity, which would be 
conveyed to consumers within a radius of ten miles 
— and possibly to the street railway and light sta- 
tions in the city, fifty miles distant. Eben Stetzle 
was the first to foresee that there would be an 
immediate market for cats and secretly he and his 
brother-in-law set about organizing a cat-breeding 
corporation under the laws of New Jersey to be 
known as "The General Feline Co., Limited." 

Mr. Fosdick and His Units 

IT took some pretty hard hustling upon the part 
of the directorate, but by the time the power 
house was completed twenty "units," as Mr. 
Fosdick called them, had been lured from as many 
back yards^nd for a day languished in the back 
room of the tinshop. In the evening, when night 



THE FELINE LIGHT & POWER CO. 



321' 



had thrown its sable shade over Whiffleville and left 
the world in darkness to Mr. Fosdick and his eats, 
as Mr. Thomas Gray would doubtlessly have written, 
had he thought about it when composing his famous 
elegy — at any rate it was after dark when Mr. 
Fosdick stole out of the tinshop and one by one 
dropped his units through the trapdoor of the power 
house roof. Twenty trips he made and twenty units 
were installed. Then he listened intently — there was 
not a sound. With a heart sickened with the appre- 
hension of failure, Mr. Fosdick made one more 
journey back to the tinshop and reappeared this 
time with John L., — the "exciter," as he afterwards 
called him. Hardly had he dropped the hero of a 
thousand back-fence encounters into the dark and 
silent hole than things began to happen. Such a 
beldam of yowling and caterwauling Whiffleville had 
never heard — the plant was in operation. 

The nest morning when President Fosdick and 
the other officers and directors of "The Feline Light 
and Power Company" elbowed their way through 
the crowd of curious citizens that had gathered about 
the power house it was evident from the noise that 
came from the units inside that the charging pro- 
cess was still in progress. With some trepidation 
they mounted the ladder and looked down into the 
generating room. A strange and wonderful sight 
met their gaze. Twenty-one cats, each of them the 
size of a beer keg, were fighting each other in a 
grand battle royal. Their hair stood straight out 
and sparks played over their dully luminous bodies 
incessantly. The crackling noise of electrical dis- 
charges was continuous and the peculiar odor of 
ozone filled the air. The directors were awed. 

"Men, we're worth millions and millions!" ejacu- 
lated Mr. Fosdick, gazing down rapturously at the 
expanded units. 

Mr. Fosdick and His Friends Acquire a Dangerous 
Electric Charge 

QUICKLY handing- Vice-President Stetzle tb~§ 
voltmeter he had brought with him, Mr. 
Fosdick slipped down into the room. Pick- 
ing up a unit he handed it up through the door for 
more thorough examination. But the unit did not 
propose being examined. With a yowl of rage it 
sank its teeth into the vice-president's arm and then 
with a loud and furious hiss leaped to the ground. 
Upon just what happened then none could ever 
agree. Stetzle afterwards described the explosion 
as being like that of the sudden eruption of a vol- 
cano, other spectators when brought to their senses 
were sure there had been an earthquake. But Mr. 
Fosdick with his calm, unemotional mind of a born 
investigator believed neither of these theories. He 
saw the cat as it touched the ground — saw the sud- 
den flare of blue fire — heard the tremendous report 
— saw the unit disappear in a dense cloud of white 
smoke, and afterwards identified all that was left 
of it — small patch of for about the size of a dime-n 
probably an ear. 

Hardly had the breeze wafted the dust and smoke 
aside when Mr. Fosdick became aware of a strange 
and startling phenomenon — his hair and whiskers 
stood out from his head and face like the quills of a 
porcupine. Mr. Stetzle was similarly affected, 

"Don't touch the ground, Eben!" shouted Mr. 



Fosdick warningly. "If you do you will blow up like 
the cat did. We're charged with millions of volts!" 
It was a terrible situation and the two men looked 
anxiously about for assistance, but the frightened 
spectators had fled to that haven of safety and gos- 
sip — the postoffice. 

What Is to Be Done With the Charged Subject? 

EXCITEMENT was at fever heat in the town. 
AH sorts of rumors filled the air, and the 
telegraph was sending them to the remotest 
corners of the earth. Before noon extras were upon 
the streets of a score of cities telling in columns and 
columns of the terrible catastrophe and giving il- 
lustrations of it "Drawn by our special artist upon 
the ground." 

All day long the two terrorized men cowered in 
the generating room. Outside at a safe distance a 
great crowd gathered. No one dared go near and it 
was generally believed that the unfortunate Fos- 
dick and Stetzle must eventually starve to death. 
During the afternoon correspondents from the great 
city dailies poured in on every train and camera 
men clicked their instruments about "the death 
shed" in shoals. Towards evening it became known 
that the casualities were "one cat dead and two men 
electrified." 

About supper time Prof. Snooks arrived, and it 
was owing to his suggestions to have food passed 
to 'them at the end of Jong glass poles that the men 
were saved from starvation. 

In the generating room life was well nigh insuf- 
ferable. The constant electrical discharges were 
irritating in the extreme and both men and units 
were in a vicious humor. It must be said, however, 
that President Fosdick made some attempt to bear 
the strain with the fortitude of a martyr to science ; 
but the unhappy Stetzle displayed no such courage 
— he. had a wife and family, he said, and he wanted 
to get out. Mr. Fosdick counseled the vicerpreai- 
dent to have hi3 family brought in, but to thi3 sug- 
gestion Stetzle only replied with curses. In calmer 
moments Stetzle said that with two men and twenty 
cats in the bin there could be no room for Mrs. Stet- 
zle and nine children. 

The Frightened People Leave the Town 

THE next afternoon Prof. Snooks from a safe 
distance shouted to them that they might, per- 
haps, regain their liberty hy wearing rubber 
boots; but that they should try the idea on a cat 
first. In this suggestion Mr. Fosdick saw a ray of 
hope, and Mr. Stetzle was so cheered that he of- 
fered to dispose of his stock in the company of Mr. 
Fosdick for a mere song. The offer was refused. 
Mr. Fosdick said that he was not interested partic- 
ularly in financial matters at that time. He wrote 
a note to Josh Little, the harnessmaker, ordering a 
pair of rubber boots made, cat-size. Then the in- 
ventor by eloquent gestures attracted the attention 
of the crowd and threw the note towards it at which 
there was a great scattering. A moment later he 
sank back in despair, for just as the epistle touched 
the ground there was a slight explosion, a vivid red 
flash, and it burned up before his very eyes. Well 
might he shudder, for now he realized the tre- 
(Continued on page 383) 




w 



(By GmrettM Smmss 






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till 




mjflBafliE- 



,J§: 



THE MOON METAL 



323 



CHAPTER I. 

South Polar Gold 




jflHEN the news came of the discovery of 
gold at the south pole, nobody suspected 
that the beginning had been reached of 
a new era in the world's history. The 
newsboys cried "Extra!" as they had 
done a thousand times for murders, battles, fires, 
and Wall Street panics, but nobody was excited. 
In fact, the reports at first seemed so exaggerated 
and improbable that hardly anybody believed a word 
of them. Who could have been expected to credit a 
despatch, forwarded by cable from New Zealand, 
and signed by an unknown name, which contained 
such a statement as this: 

"A seam of gold which can be cut with a knife 
has been found within ten miles of the south pole." 

The discovery of the pole itself had been an- 
nounced three years before, and several scientific 
parties were known to be exploring the remarkable 
continent that surrounds it. But while they had sent 
home many highly interesting reports, there had 
been nothing to suggest the possibility of such an 
amazing discovery as that which was now an- 
nounced. Accordingly, most sensible people looked 
upon the New Zealand despatch as a hoax. 

But within a week, and from a different source, 
flashed another despatch which more than confirmed 
the first. It declared that gold existed near the 
south pole in practically unlimited quantity. Some 
geologists said this accounted for the greater depth 
of the Antarctic Ocean. It had always heen noticed 
that the southern hemisphere appeared to be a little 
overweighted. People now began to prick up their 
ears, and many letters of inquiry appeared in the 
newspapers concerning the ^ ^^— — — ^^_ __ 
wonderful tidings from SV. : *? - 

the south. Some asked 
for information about the 
shortest route to the new 
gold-fields. 

In a little while several 
additional reports came, 
some via New Zealand, 
others via South America, 
and all confirming in 
every respect what had 
been sent before. Then a 
New York newspaper sent 
a swift steamer to the 
Antarctic, and when this 
enterprising journal pub- 
lished a four-page cable ^w^^***^^"^ m ' ■ " 

describing the discoveries in detail, all doubt van- 
ished and the rush began. 

Gold Loses its Vahie, and the Markets o£ the World 
Are Upset 

SOME time I may undertake a description of the 
wild scenes that occurred when, at last, the in- 
habitants of the northern hemisphere were 
convinced the boundless stores of gold existed in the 
unclaimed and uninhabited wastes surrounding tha 
south pole. But at present I have something more 
wonderful to relate. 
Let me briefly depict the situation. 



For many years silver had been absent from the 
coinage of the world. Its increasing abundance 
rendered it unsuitable for money, especially when 
contrasted with gold. The "silver craze," which had 
raged in the closing decade of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, was already a forgotten incident of financial 
history. The gold standard had become universal, 
and business all over the earth had adjusted itself 
to that condition. The wheels of industry ran 
smoothly, and there seemed to be no possibility of 
any disturbance or interruption. The common 
monetary system prevailing in every land fostered 
trade and facilitated the exchange of products. 
Travellers never had to bother their heads about 
the currency of money; any coin that passed in New 
York would pass for its face value in London, Paris, 
Berlin, Rome, Madrid, St. Petersburg, Constan- 
tinople, Cairo, Khartoum, Jerusalem, Peking, or 
Yeddo. It was indeed the "Golden Age," and the 
world had never been so free from financial storms. 

Upon this peaceful scene the south polar gold 
discoveries burst like an unheralded tempest. 

I happened to be in the company of a famous 
bank president when the confirmation of those dis- 
coveries suddenly filled the streets with yelling 






f)NE of the finest pieces of scientific tion ever -arritten is 
v THE MOON METAL. This classic, by the welt- 



The Gold Standard Eliminated and Disaster Impending 
I ET me one of those 'extras'!" he said, and 
an office-boy ran out to obey him. As he 
perused the sheet his face darkened. 
"I'm afraid it's too true," he said, at length. 
"Yes, there seems to be no getting around it. Gold 
is going to be as plentiful as iron. If there were not 
such a flood of it, we might manage, but when they 
begin to make trousers buttons out of the same 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ metal that is now locked 



known Professor Garrett P. Serviss, contains a tremend- 
ous owoiitii of excellent science. While this story was 
written at tha close of the \9th century no one in this lat- 
ter day of transwi.txhii of reiiUo over great distances, and 
the actual accomplhU'nent of trmismulaliim of gases and 
the like, can find fault or can- question thai such a scheme, 
as propounded by the. author — that is, of extracting ore 
or metal from a distant body ■Li.'iUioid interrcniiig physical 
means — can some day be accomplished. 

Tlie story keeps uj< a tremendous interest, because yo:t 
are net permitted lo know-, for quite a long stretch, just 
how The Moon Metal was extracted from the moon. 
The illustrious author has long enjoyed a reputation as 



Here e 






and guarded in steel 
vaults, where will be our 
standard of worth? My 
dear fellow," he continu- 
ed, impulsively laying his 
hand on my'arm, "I would 
as willingly face the end 
of the world as this that's 
coming?" 

"You think it so bad, 
then?" I asked. "But 
most people will not agree 
with you. They will re- 
gard it as very good 
news." 

j™™is»Si™sHii!iiisH "How can it be good?" 
Mum ^r.^^^ r ^ m ^ r ^ ntm ^ Jmy-st out. "What have 

we got to take the place of gold? Can we go back 
to the ago of barter? Can we substitute cattle-pens 
and wheat-bins for the strong boxes of the Treas- 
ury? Can commerce exist with no common measure 
of exchange?" 

"It does indeed look serious," I assented"* 
"Serious! I tell you, it is the deluge!" 
Thereat he clapped on his hat and hurried across 
the street to the office of another celebrated banker. 
His premonitions of disaster turned out to be but 
loo well grounded. The deposits of gold at the south 
pole were richer than the wildest reports had rep- 
resented them. The shipments of the precious metal 



324 



AMAZING STORIES 



to America and Europe soon became enormous — so 
enormous that the metal was no longer precious. 
The price of gold dropped like a falling- stone, with 
accelerated velocity, and within a year every money 
centre in the world had been swept by a panic. Gold 
was more common than iron. Every government 
waa compelled to demonetize it, for when once gold 
had fallen into contempt if was less valuable in the. 
eyes of the public than stamped paper. For once' 
the world had thoroughly learned the lesson that too 
much of a good thing is worse than none of it. 

Gold is Brought Into Economic Use 

THEN somebody found a flew use for gold by 
inventing a process by which it could be 
hardened and tempered, assuming a wonder- 
ful toughness and elasticity without losing its non- 
corrosive property, and in this form it rapidly took 
the place of steel. 

In the mean time:every effort was made to bolster 
up credit. Endless were the attempts to find a sub- 
stitute for gold. The chemists sought it in their 
laboratories and the mineralogists in the mountains 
and deserts. Platinum might have served, but it, 
too, had become a drug in the market through the 
discovery of immense deposits. Out of the twenty 
odd elements which had been rarer and more valu- 
able than gold, such, as uranium, gallium, etc., not 
one was found to answer the purpose. In short, it 
was evident that since both gold and silver had be- 
come too abundant to serve any longer "for a money 
standard, the planet held no metal suitable to take 
their place. 

The entire monetary system of the world must 
be readjusted, but in the readjustment it was cer- 
tain to fall to pieces. In fact, it had already fallen 
to pieces; the only recourse was to paper money, 
but whether this was based upon agriculture or 
mining or manufacture, it gave varying standards, 
not only among the different nations, but in succes- 
sive years in the same country. Exports and im- 
ports practically ceased. Credit was discredited, 
commerce perished, and the world, at a bound, 
seemed to have gone back, financially and industrial- 
ly to the dark ages. 

One final effort was made. A great financial con- 
gress was assembled at New York. Representatives 
of all the nations took part in it. The ablest financ- 
iers of Europe and America united the efforts of 
their genius and the results of their experience to 
solve the great problem. The various governments 
all solemnly stipulated to abide by the decision of 
the congress. 

But, after spending months in hard but fruit- 
less labor, that body was no nearer the end of its un- 
dertaking than when it first assembled. The entire 
world awaited its decision with bated breath, and 
yet the decision was not formed. 

At this paralyzing crisis a most unexpected event 
suddenly opened the way. . i 

CHAPTER II 
The Magician of Science 

AN attendant entered the room where the per- 
plexed financiers were in session and pre- 
sented a peculiar-looking card to the presi- ' 
dent, Mr. Boon. The president took the card in his 



hand and instantly fell into a brown study. So com- 
plete was his absorption that Hen* Finster, the 
celebrated Berlin banker, who had been addressing 
the chair for the last two hours from the opposite 
end of the long table, got confused, entirely lost 
track of his verb, and suddenly dropped into his 
seat, very red in the face and wearing a most injured 
expression. 

But President Boon paid no attention except to 
the singular card, which he continued to turn over 
and over, balancing it on his fingers and holding it 
now at arm's-length and then near his nose, with 
one eye squinted as if he were trying to look 
through a hole in the card. 

At length this odd conduct of the presiding of- 
ficer drew all eyes upon the card, and then every- 
body shared the interest of Mr. Boon. In shape and 
size the card was not extraordinary, but it was com- 
posed of metal. What metal? That question had 
immediately arisen in Mr. Boon's mind when the 
card came into his hand, and now it exercised the 
wits of all the others. Plainly it was not tin, brass, 
copper, bronze, silver, aluminum — although its 
lightness might have suggested that metak^nor 
even base gold. 

The president, although a skilled metallurgist, 
confessed his inability to say what it was. So in- 
tent had he become in examining the curious bit of 
metal that he forgot it was a visitor's card of in- 
troduction, and did not even look for the name which 
it presumably bore. 

The Reception of a Visitor's Wonderful Card 

AS he held the card up to get a better light up- 
on it a stray sunbeam from the window fell 
across the metal and instantly it bloomed 
with exquisite colors ! 

The president's chair being in the darker end of 
the room, the radiant card suffused the atmosphere 
about him with a faint rose tint, playing with sur- 
prising liveliness into alternate canary color and 
violet. 

The effect upon the company of clear-headed fin- 
anciers was extremely remarkable. The unknown 
metal appeared to exercise a kind of mesmeric in- 
fluence, its soft hues blending together in a chro- 
matic harmony which captivated the sense of vision 
as the ears are charmed by a perfectly rendered 
song. Gradually all gathered in an eager group 
around the president's chair. 

"What can it be?" was repeated from lip to lip. 

"Did you ever see anything like it?" asked Mr. 
Boon for the twentieth time. 

None of them had even seen the like of it. . A spell 
fell upon the assemblage. For five minutes no one 
spoke, while Mr. Boon continued to chase the flick- 
ering sunbeam with the wonderful card. Suddenly 
the silence was broken by a voice which had a touch 
of awe in it : 

"It must be the metal!" 

The speaker was an English financier, First Lord 
of the Treasury, Hon. James Hampton-Jones, K.C.B. 
Immediately everybody echoed his remark, and the 
strain being thus relieved, the spell dropped from 
them and several laughed loudly over their momen- 
tary aberration. 



THE MOON METAL 



325 



The Visitor Himself Enters 

PRESIDENT Boon recollected himself, and, 
coloring slightly, placed the card fiat on the 
table, in order more clearly to see the name. 
In plain red letters it stood forth with such sur- 
prising distinctness that Mr. Boon wondered why 
he had so long overlooked it. 

"DR. MAX SYX" 

"Tell the gentleman to come in," said the presi- 
dent, and thereupon the attendant threw open the 
door. 

The owner of the mysterious card fixed every eye 
as he entered. He was several inches more than six 
feet in height. H13 complexion was very dark, his 
eye3 were intensely black, bright, and deep- 
set, his eyebrows were bushy and up- curled 
at the ends, his sable hair was close-trimmed, and 
his ears were narrow, pointed at the top, and promi- 
nent. He wore black mustaches, covering only half 
the width of his lip and drawn into projecting 
needles on each side, while a spiked black beard 
adorned the middle of his chin. 

He smiled as he stepped confidently forward, with 
a courtly bow, hut it was a very disconcerting smile, 
beeause it more than half resembled a sneer. Tm'3 
uncommon person did not wait to be addressed. 

"I have come to solve your problem," he said, fac- 
ing President Boon, who had swung round on his 
pivoted chair. 

"The metal!" exclaimed everybody in a breath, 
and with a unanimity and excitement which would 
have astonished them if they had been spectators in- 
stead of actors of the scene. The tall stranger 
-bowed and smiled again: 

"Just so," he said. "What do you think of it?" 

"It is beautiful!" 

Again the reply came from every mouth simultan- 
eously, and again if the speakers could have been 
listeners they would have wondered not only at 
their earnestness, but at their words, for why 
should they instantly and unanimously pronounce 
that beautiful which they had not even seen? But 
every man knew he had seen it, for instinctively 
their minds reverted to the card and recognized in 
it the metal referred to. The mesmeric spell seemed 
onee more to fall upon the assemblage, for the fin- 
anciers noticed nothing remarkable in the next act 
of the stranger, which was to take a chair, unin- 
vited, at the table, and the moment he sat down he 
became the presiding officer as naturally as if he 
had just been elected to that post. They all waited 
for him to speak, and when he opened his mouth 
they listened with breathless attention. 

The Visitor's Story 

HIS words were of the best English, but 
there was some peculiarity, which they had 
already noticed, either in his voice or 
his manner of enunciation, which struck all of the 
listeners as denoting a foreigner. But none of 
them could satisfactorily place him. Neither the 
Americans, . the Englishmen, the Germans, the 
Frenchmen, the Russians, the Austrians, the Ital- 
ians, the Spaniards, the Turks, the Japanese, nor the 
Chinese at the board could decide to what race or 
nationality the stranger belonged. 



"This metal," he began, taking the card f-rom Mr. 
Boon's hand, "I have discovered and named. I call 
it 'artemisium.' I can produce it, in the pure form, 
abundantly enough to replace gold/ giving it the 
same relative value that gold possessed when it was 
the universal standard." 

As Dr. Syx spoke he snapped the cord with his 
thumb-nail and it fluttered with quivering hues like 
a humming-bird hovering over a flower. He seemed 
to await a reply, and President Boon asked: 

"What guarantee can you give that the supply 
would be adequate and continuous?" 

"I will conduct a committee of this congress to 
my mine in the Rocky Mountains, where, in antici- 
pation of the event, I have accumulated enough re- 
fined artemisium to provide every civilized land with 
an amount of coin equivalent to that which it form- 
erly held in gold. I can there satisfy you of my 
ability to maintain the production." 

"But how do we know that this metal of yours 
will answer the purpose?" 

"Try it," was the laconic reply. 

"There is another difficulty," pursued the presi- 
dent. "People will not accept a new metal in place 
of gold unless they are convinced that it possesses 
equal intrinsic value. They must first become famil- 
iar with it, and it must be abundant enough and de- 
sirable enough to be used sparingly in the arts, just 
as gold was." 

"I have provided for ah" that," said the stranger, 
with one of his disconcerting smiles. "I assure you 
that there will be no trouble with the people. They 
will be only too eager to get and to use the metal. 
Let me show you." 

He stepped to the door and immediately returned 
with two black attendants bearing a large tray filled 
with articles shaped from the same metal as that of . 
which the card was composed. The financiers all 
jumped to their feet with exclamations of surprise 
and admiration, and gathered around the tray, 
whose dazzling contents lighted up the corner of 
the room where it had been placed as if the moon 
were shining there. 

The New Metal Artemisium 

THERE were elegantly formed vases, adorned 
with artistic figures, embossed and incised, 
and glowing with delicate colors which shim- 
mered in tiny waves with the slightest motion of 
the tray. Cups, pins, finger-rings, earrings, watch- 
chains, combs, studs, lockets, medals, tableware, 
models of coins — in brief, almost every article in the 
fabrication of which precious metals have been em- 
ployed was to be seen there in profusion, and all 
. of the strange new metal which everybody 
the spot declared was far more splendid than 



"Do you think it will answer?" asked Dr. Syx. 

"We do," was the unanimous reply. 

All then resumed their seats at the table, the tray 
with its magnificent array having been placed in the 
centre of the board. This display had a remarkable 
influence. Confidence awoke in the breasts of the 
financiers. The dark clouds that had oppressed 
them rolled off, and the prospect grew decidedly 
brighter. 

"What terms do you demand?" at length asked 
Mr. Boon, cheerfully rubbing his hands. /' 



326 



AMAZING STORIES 



"I must have military protection for my mine 
and reducing works," replied Dr. Syx. "Then I 
shall ask the return of one per cent, on the circulat- 
ing medium, together with the privilege of dispos- 
ing of a certain amount of the metal — to be limited 
by agreement — to the public for use in the arts. Of 
the proceeds of this sale I wiH pay ten per cent, to 
the government in consideration of its protection." 

"But," exclaimed President Boon, "that will make 
you the richest man who ever lived!" 

"Undoubtedly," was the reply. 

"Why," added Mr. Boon, opening his eyes wider 
as the facts continued to dawn upon him, "you will 
become the financial dictator of the whole earth 1" 

"Undoubtedly,™ again responded Dr. Syx, un- 
moved. "That is what I purpose to become. My 
discovery entitles me to no less. But, remember, I 
place myself under government inspection and re- 
striction. I should not he allowed to flood the 
market, even if I were disposed to do so. But my 
own interest would restrain me. It is to my ad- 
vantage that avtemisium, once adopted, shall re- 
main stable in value." 

A shadow of doubt suddenly crossed the presi- 
dent's face. 

"Suppose' your secret is discovered," he said. 
"Surely your mine will not remain the only one. If 
you, in so short a time, have been able to accum- 
ulate an immense quantity of the new metal, it must 
be extremely abundant. Others will discover it,, and 
then where shall we be?" 

While; Mr. Boon uttered these words, those who 
were watching Dr. Syx (as the president was not) 
resembled persons whose startled eyes are, fixed up- 
on a wild beast preparing to spring. As Mr. Boon 
ceased speaking he turned towards the visitor, and 
instantly his lips, fell apart and his face paled. 

Dr. Syx, the Visitor, is Imperious 

DE. Syx had drawn himself up to his full stat- 
ure, and his. features' were distorted with 
that peculiar mocking smile which had now 
returned with a concentrated expression of mingled 
self-confidence and' disdain'. 

"Will you have relief, or not?" he asked' in; a dry, 
hard voice. "What can you do ; ? I alone possess the 
secret which can restore industry and commerce'. If 
you reject my offer, do. you think a second one will 

President Boon found voice, to reply, stammer- 
ingly; 

".! did not mean, to suggest a rejection of the of- 
fer.. I only wished to. inquire if you thought it 
probable that there, would be no repetition, of. what 
occurred after gold was found at the south pole?." 

"The earth may be full of my metal," returned 
Dr. Syx,, almost fiercely,, "but so long as: I alone 
possess the knowledge how to extract it, is it of" any 
more worth- than common dirt? But. come"' he 
added, after a pause and softening his manner;. "I 
have other schemes. WiH youv as- representatives I of 
the leading nations, undertake- the; introduction 1 of 
ar.temiai.uni' as a- substitute for gold;, or- wilL you 
not?" 

"Can we not have time for deliberation?" asked 
President Boon; 

"Yes, one hour. Within that time* I shall return 



to learn your decision," replied Dr. Syx, rising and 
preparing to depart. "I leave these things," point- 
ing to the tray, "in your keeping, and," significantly, 
"I trust your decision will be a wise one/' 

His curious smile again curved his lips and shot 
the ends of his mustache upward, and the influence 
of that smile remained in. the room when he bad 
closed the door behind him. The financiers gazed at 
one another for several minutes in silence, then 
they turned towards the coruscating metal that filled 
the tray. 

CHAPTER. Ill 

The Teton Mountains 

AWAY on the western- border of Wyoming, in 
the all but inaccessible heart of the Rocky 
Mountains, three' mighty brothers, "ih& Big 
Tetons," look perpendicularly into the blue eye of 
Jenny's I.ake> lying at the bottom, of the profound 
depression among the mountains called Jacksoir"s 
Hole. Bracing against one another for support, 
these remarkable peaks lift their granite apirea- from 
12,GG0 to nearly 14,000- feet into the blue dome that 
arches the crest of the continent. Their sides, and 
especially those of their chief, the Grand Teton, are 
streaked with glaciers, which shine like silver trap- 
pings when the morning sun eomes up above the 
wilderness of mountains stretching away eastward 
from the hole-. 

When the first, white men penetrated this wonder- 
ful region, and one of them bestowed his wife's 
name upon Jenny's Labe, they were intimidated by 
the Grand Teton. It made, their flesh creep', ac- 
customed thought they were to rough scrambling 
among mountain gorges and on the brews of im- 
mense precipices, when they glanced up the face of 
the peak,, where the cliffs fall, one below another, 
in a series of breathless descents, and imagined 
themselves clinging for' dear life to those skyey 
battlements. 

But when, in' 1872; Messrs. Stevenson 1 ami Lang- 
ford finally reached the- top of the Grand Teton-— 
the only successful members of a party of nine 
practised 1 climBers 1 who' had started together from 
the bottom— they found- there a little rectangular 
enclosure, made by piling up 1 rocks, six or seven feet 
across and three feet in height, bearing evidences 
of great age; and 1 indicating that the red Indians 
had; for some unknown purpose, resorted to the 
summit of this tremendous peak long before the 
white men invaded their mountains. Yet neither the 
Indians nor the whites: ever really conquered the 
Teton, for above the highest point that they at- 
tained rises a granite' Buttress, whose smooth verti- 
cal: sides- seemed, to- them to- defy everything bat 
wings- 
Winding: across the'sage-CGvered floor of Jackson's 
Hole; runs! the: Shoshone;, or Snake Rivera which . , 
takes- its rise from; J:aclfeson's'. Lake- at the northern 
end of. the basin,, and t&em, as: if shrinking-, from, the 
threatening brows- of the Tetons, whose Sail' would 
Bleak, its progress-,, makes; a. detour of one: hundred 
miles' around the- Buttressed heights' of the? range 
before it finds: a clear way across' IdaiftD,. and; soi on 
to the Columbia River and- the: Pacific Ocean: 



the Mooii MefM, 



32? 



A Visit to Syk's Works in the Teton' Mountains 

ON a July morning, about a month after the 
visit of Dr. Max Syx to the assembled finan- 
ciers in New York, a party of twenty hors.e- 
men; following a mountain-trail, arrived on the 
eastern margin of Jackson's Hole, and pausing up- 
on- a commanding eminence,' with exclamations of 
wonder, glanced across the great depression,' where 
lay the shining coils of the Snake River, at the tow- 
ering forms' of the Tetoris, whose ice-striped cliffs 
flashed lightnings in the sunshine. Even the im- 
passive broncos that the party rode -lifted their 
heads inquiringly, and snorted as if in equine as- 
tonishment at the magnificent spectacle. 

One familiar with the place would have noticed 
something, which, to his mind, would have seemed 
more surprising than the pageantry of the moun- 
tains in their morning sun-bath. Curling above one 
<j£ the wild gorges that cut the tower slopes of the 
Tetons was a thick black smoke, which, when lifted 
by a passing breeze,' obscured the precipices half- 
way to the summit of the peak. 

Had ther Grand Teton become a volcano? Cer- 
tainly no hunting or exploring party could make a 
smoke like that. But a- word f ronf the leader of the 
parity of horsemen explained the mystery.- 

"There' is' my mfll, : and the mine rs underneath 
it." 

The speaker waa Dr.- Syx, and his companions 
were members of the financial congress. When he 
quitted- their presence rri New York,' with the 
promise to' return within an hour for their reply, 
he haoV no doubt in his own mind what that reply 
would- be. He knew they would accept his proposi- 
tion, arid 1 they did. No time was then lost in com- 
municating with the various governments^ and ar- 
rangements were quickly perfected whereby; in 
case the inspection of Dr. Syx's mine and its re- 
sources proved satisfactory, America and Europe 
should' unite in 1 adopting the new metal as the basis 
of their coinage. As soon as this stage in the nego- 
tiations was- reached, it only remained to send a 
committee of financiers and metallurgists, in com- 
pany with Dr. Syx, to the Rocky Mountains. They 
started under the doctor'3 guidance, completing the 
last stage of their journey on horseback. 

"An inspection of the records at Washington," 
Dr. Syx- continued, addressing the horsemen; "will 
show that I have filed a' claim 1 covering ten acres of 
ground ar'bund the mouth of my mine. This was 
done as soon as I had discovered the metal.. The fil- 
ing' of the claim and the subsequent proceedings 
which perfected my ownership attracted no atten- 
tion-, because everybody was thinking of the south 
pole and its' goia*-fields:" 

Sbiplaiiatibri From Dr. Syx 

THE' party gathered' closer abound Dr. Syx 
and listened to his words with silent atten- 
tion^ while their horses rubbed noses and 
jingled 1 their gold-mounted trappings. 

"A^ soon as I had lewdly protected myself," he 
continued; "I employed a force of riien, transported 
my machinery and' material across the mountains, 
erected' my furnaces, and opened the mine. I was 
safe from intrusion, and even from idle curiosity, 
for the reason I have just mentioned. In fact, so 



exclusive was the attraction of the new gold-fields 
that I had difficulty in obtaining workmen, and 
finally I.sent to Africa and engaged negroes, whom 
1 placed in charge of trustworthy foremen.; Ac- 
cordingly, with half a dozen exceptions, you will see 
only black men at the mine." 

"And with their aid. you have mined enough metal 
to supply the mints of the world?" asked President 
Booh; 

"Exactly so," was the reply. "But I no longer 
employ the large force which I needed air first." 

"How much metal have you on hand? I am' aware 
that you have already answered this question during 
our preliminary negotiations, but I ask it again 
for the benefit of pome members of our party who 
Were riot present tnenv" 

"I_sball show' you to-day," said Dr. Syx, with his 
curious smile, "2500 tons of refined artemisium, 
stacked in rock-cut vaults imder the Grand Teton." 

"And you have dared to collect such inconceiv- 
able wealth in one place?" 

, "¥&a forget that it is riot wealth until the people 
have learned to value it, and the governments have 
put their stamp upon it." 

"True, but how did you arrive at the proper mo- 
ment?". , , , 

"Easily. I first ascertained that before the Ant- 
arctic discoveries the world contained altogether 
about 16,000 tons of gold, valued at $450,000 per 
ton, or $7,200,000,000 worth all told. Now my metal 
weighs, bulk for bull;, one-quarter as much as' gold: 
It might fee reckoned at the same intrinsic value per 
tori; but I have considered it preferable to take ad- 
vantage of the smaller weight of the new metal, 
which permits us to make coins of the same size as 
the old ones, but only one-quarter as heavy, by giv- 
ing to artemisium four times the value per ton that 
gold had;. Thus only 4000 tons of the new nietal are 
required to supply the place of the 16,000 tons of 
gold'. The 2500 tons which I already have on hand 
are more than enough for coinage. The rest I can 
supply as fast.as needed, , 

.The party did not wait for further explanations. 
They were' eager" to s.ee the wonderful mine and 
the store of treasure. Spurs were applied, and they 
galloped down the steep, trail, forded the Snake 
River, and, skirting the shore of Jenny's Lake, soon 
found themselves gazing up the headlong slopes and 
dizzy parapets of the Grand Teton. Dr. Syx led 
them by a steep ascent to the mouth of the canyon, 
above one of whose Walls stood his mill, and where 
the "Champ 1 Chanm !" of a powerful engine saluted 
their ear's. 

The Wealth o£ the World 

AN electric light shot its penetrating rays into 
a gallery cut through virgin rock and run- 
ning' straight towards the heart of the Teton. 
The centre of the gallery was occupied by a narrow 
railway, on which a few flat ears, propelled by elec- 
tric power, passed to and fro. Black-skinned and 
silent workmen rode on the cars, both when they 
cariie" laden with broken riiasses of rock from the 
farther end of the tunnel and when they returned 
empty. 

Suddenly, to an eye situated a little way within 
the gallery, appeared at the entrance the dark face 
of Dr. Syx, wearing its most discomposing smile. 



328 



AMAZING STORIES 



and a moment later the broader countenance of 
President Boon loomed in the eiectric glare beside 
the doctor's black frame-work of eyebrows and 
mustache. Behind them were grouped the other 
visiting financiers. 

"This tunnel," said Dr. Syx, "leads to the mine 
head, where the ore-bearing rock is blasted." 

As he spoke a hollow roar issued from the depths 
of the mountain, followed in a short time by a gust 
of foul air. 

"You probably will not care to go in there," said 
the doctor, "and, in fact, it is very uncomfortable. 
But we shall follow the next car-load to the smelter, 
and you can witness the reduction of the ore," 

Accordingly when another ear came rumbling out 
of the tunnel, with its load of cracked rock, they all 
accompanied it into an adjoining apartment, where 
it was cast into a metallic shute, through which, 
they were informed, it reached the furnace. 

"While it is melting," explained Dr. Syx, "certain 
elements, the nature of which I must beg to keep 
secret, are mixed with the ore, causing chemical 
action which results in the extraction of the metal. 
Now let me show you pure artemisum issuing from 
the furnace." 

The Metal Shown Running from the Furnace 

HE led the visitors through two apartments 
into a third, one side of which was walled 
by the front of a furnace. From this pro- 
jected two or three small spouts, and iridescent 
streams of molten metal fell from the spouts into 
earthern receptacles from which the blazing liquid 
was led, like flowing iron, into a system of molds, 
where it was allowed to cool and harden. 

The financiers looked on wondering, and their 
astonishment grew when they were conducted into 
the rock-cut store-rooms beneath, where they saw 
metallic ingots glowing like gigantic opals in the 
light which Dr. Syx turned on. They were piled in 
rows along the walls as high as a man could reach. 
A very brief inspection sufficed to convince the 
visitors that Dr. Syx was able to perform all that he 
promised. Although they had not penetrated the 
secret of his process of reducing the ore, yet they 
had seen the metal flowing from the furnace, and 
the piles of ingots proved conclusively that, he had 
uttered no vain boast when he said he could give 
the world a new coinage. 

But President Boon, being himself a metallurgist, 
desired to inspect the mysterious ore a little more 
closely. Possibly he was thinking that if another 
mine was destined to, be discovered he might as 
well be the discoverer as anybody. Dr. Syx at- 
tempted no concealment, but his smile became more 
than usually scornful as he stopped a laden car and 
invited the visitors to help themselves. 

"I think," he said, "that I have struck the only 
lode of this ore in the Teton, or possibly in this 
part of the world, but I don't know for certain. 
There may be plenty of it only waiting to be found. 
That, however, doesn't trouble me. The great point 
is that nobody except myself knows how to extract 
the metal." 

Mr Boon closely examined the chunk of rock which 
he had taken from the car. Then he pulled a lens 
from his pocket, with a deprecatory glance at Dr. 
Syx. 



"Oh, that's all right," said the latter, with a 
laugh, the first that these gentlemen had ever heard 
from his lips, and it almost made tliem shudder; 
"put it to every test, examine 'it with the micro- 
scope, with fire, with electricity, with the spectro- 
scope — in every way you can think of! I assure you 
it is worth your while!" 

Again Dr. Syx uttered his freezing laugh, pass- 
ing into the familiar smile, which had now become 
an undisguised mock. 

"Upon my word," said Mr. Boon, taking his eye 
from the lens, ""I see no sign of any metal here!" . 

"Look at the green specks!" cried the doctor, 
snatching the specimen from the president's hand. 
"That's it I That's artemisium! But it's of no use 
unless you can get it out and purify it, which is 



Jay t 



iret!' 



Dr. Syx Laughs 

FOR the third time Dr. Syx laughed, and his 
merriment affected the visitors so disagree- 
ably that they showed impatience to be gone. 
Immediately he ehanged his manner. 

"Come into my office," he said, with a return to 
the graciousness which had characterized him ever 
since the party started from New York. 

When they were all seated, and the doctor had 
handed round a box of cigars, he resumed the con- 
versation in his most amiable manner. 

"You see, gentlemen," be said, turning a piece of 
ore in his fingers, "artemisium is like aluminum. It 
can only be obtained in the metallic form by a 
special process. While these greenish particles, 
which you may perhaps mistake for chrysolite, or 
some similar silicate, really contain the precious 
metal, they are not entirely composed of it. The 
process by which I separate out the metallic ele- 
ment while the ore is passing through the furnace 
is, in truth, quite simple, and its very simplicity 
guards my secret. Make your minds easy as to 
over-production. A man is as likely to jump over 
the moon as to find me out." 

"But," he continued, again changing his man- 
ner, "we have had business enough for one day; 
now for a little recreation." 

While speaking the doctor pressed a button on 
his desk, and the room, which was illuminated by 
electric lamps — for there were no windows in the 
building — suddenly became dark, except part of one 
wall, where a broad area of light appeared. 

Dr. Syx's voice had become very soothing when 
next he spoke: 

"I am fond of amusing myself with a peculiar 
form of the magic-lantern, which I invented some 
years ago, and which I have never exhibited except 
for the entertainment of my friends. The pictures 
will appear upon the wall, the apparatus 'being con- 
cealed." 

He had hardly ceased speaking when the il- 
luminated space seemed to melt away, leaving a 
great opening, through which the spectators looked 
as if into another world on the opposite side of the 
wall. For a minute or two they could not clearly 
discern what was presented; then, gradually, the 
flitting scenes and figures became more distinct un- 
til the lifelikeness of the spectacle absorbed their 
whole attention. 

Before them passed, in panorarr 



THE MOON METAL 



329 



sunny land, filled with brilliant-hued vegetation, 
and dotted with villages and cities which were 
bright with light-colored buildings. People appear- 
ed moving - through the scenes, as in a cinemeto- 
graph exhibition, but with infinitely more semblance 
of reality. In fact, the pictures, blending one into 
another, seemed to he life itself. Yet it was not an 
earth-like scene. The colors of the passing land- 
scape were such as no man in the room had ever 
beheld; and the people, tall, round-limbed, with 
florid complexion, golden hair, and brilliant eyes 
and lips, were indescribably beautiful and graceful 
in all their movements. 

Dr. Syx's Movies 

FROM the land the view passed out to sea, and 
bright blue waves, edged with creaming 
foam, ran swiftly under the spectator's eyes, 
and occasionally, driven before light winds, ap- 
peared fleets of daintily shaped vessels, which re- 
minded the beholder, by their flashing wings, of 
the feigned "ship of pearl." 

After the fairy ships and breezy sea views came 
a long, curving line of coast, brilliant with coral 
sands, and indented by frequent bays, along whose 
enchanting shores lay pleasant towns, the landscapes 
behind them splendid with groves, meadows, and 
streams. 

Presently the shifting photographic tape, or what- 
ever the mechanism may have been, appeared to 
have settled upon a chosen scene, and there it rest- 
ed. A broad champaign reached away to distant 
sapphire mountains, while the foreground was oc- 
cupied by a magnificent house, resembling a large 
country villa, fronted with a garden, shaded by 
bowers and festoons of huge, brilliant flowers. 
Birds of radiant plumage flitted among the trees 
and blossoms, and then appeared a company of 
gayly attired people, including many young girls, 
who joined hands and danced in a ring, apparently 
with shouts of laughter, while a group of musicians 
standing near thrummed and blew upon curiously 
siiaped instruments. 

End of the Movie Show 

UDDENLY the shadow of a dense cloud flitted 
across the scene; whereupon the brilliant 
birds flew away with screams of terror which 
almost seemed to reach the ears of the onlookers 
through the wall. An expression of horror came 
over the faces of the people. The children broke 
from their merry circle and ran for protection to 
their elders. The utmost confusing and whelming 
terror were evidenced for a moment — then the 
ground split asunder, and the house and the garden, 
with all their living occupants were swallowed by 
an awful chasm which opened just where they had 
stood. The great rent ran in a widening line across 
the sunlit landscape until it reached the horizon, 
when the distant mountains crumbled, clouds poured 
in from all sides at once, and billows of flame burst 
through them as they veiled the scene. 

But in another instant the commotion wa3 over, 
and the world whose curious spectacles had been 
enacted as if on the other side of a window, seemed 
to retreat swiftly into space, until at last, emerging 
from a fleecy cloud, it reappeared in the form of the 
full moon hanging in the sky, but larger than is its 



s 



wont, with its dry ocean-beds, its keen-spired peaks, 
its ragged mountain ranges, its gaping chasms, its 
immense crater rings, and Tycho,. the chief of them 
all, shooting raylike streaks across the scarred face 
of the abandoned lunar globe. 

The show was ended, and Dr. Syx, turning on only 
a partial illumination in the room, rose slowly to 
his feet, his tall form appearing strangely mag- 
nified in the gloom, and invited his bewildered 
guests to accompany him to his house, outside the 
mill, where he said dinner awaited them. As they 
emerged into daylight they acted like persons just 
aroused from an opiate dream, 

CHAPTER IV 
Wonders of the New Metal. 

WITHIN a twelvemonth after the visit of 
President Boon and his fellow-financiers to 
the mine in the Grand Teton a railway had 
been constructed from Jackson's Hole, connecting 
with one of the Pacific lines, and the distribution 
of the new metal wa3 begun. All of Dr. Syx's terms 
had been accepted. United States troops occupied 
a permanent encampment on the upper waters of the 
Snake River, to afford protection, and as the con- 
signments of precious ingots were hurried east and 
west on guarded trains, the mints all over the world 
resumed their activity. Once more a common mon- 
etary standard prevailed, and commerce revived as 
if touched by a magic wand. 

Arteraisium quickly won its way in popular favor. 
Its matchless beauty alone was enough. Not only 
was it gladly accepted in the form of money, but its 
success was instantaneous in the arts. Dr. Syx and 
the inspectors representing the various nations 
found it difficult to limit the output to the agreed- 
upon amount. The demand was incessant. 

Goldsmiths and jewellers continually discovered 
new excellencies in the wonderful metal. Its prop- 
erties of translueence and refraction enabled skilful 
artists to perform marvels. By suitable manage- 
ment a chain of artemisium could be made to re- 
semble a string of vari-colored gems, each separate 
link having a tint of its own, while, as the wearer 
moved, delicate complementary colors chased one 
another, in rapid undulation, from end to end. 

A fresh charm was added by the new metal to the 
personal adornment of women, and an enhanced 
splendor to the pageants of society. Gold in its 
palmiest days had never enjoyed such a vogue. A 
crowded reception-room or a dinner-party where 
artemisium abounded possessed an indescribable at- 
mosphere of luxury and richness, refined in quality, 
yet captivating to every sense. Imaginative persons 
went so far as to aver that the sight and presence 
of the metal exercised a strangely soothing and 
dreamy power over the mind, like the influence of 
moonlight streaming through the tree-tops on a still, 
balmly night. 

The public curiosity in regard to the origin of 
artemisium was boundless. The various nations 
published official bulletins in which the general 
facts — omitting, of course, such incidents as the 
singular exhibition seen by the visiting financiers 
on the wall of Dr. Syx's office — were detailed to 
gratify the universal desire for information. 

President Boon not only submitted the specimens 



330 



AMAZING STORIES 



of ore-bearing rock which' he had brought from the 
mine to careful analysis hut aiao appealed to sev- 
eral of the greatest living chemists and mineral- 
ogists to aid him; bot they were all equally mysti- 
fied. The green substance ctm-ta-irieft in- the 1 oVe, al- 
though differing slightly f-roiri ordinary chrysolite, 
answered all the known' tests of that miner al. It 
was remembered; however, that Dr.- Syx Had said 
that they would be likely to mistake the substance 
for chrysolite,' and the result of their experiments 
justified his prediction'. Evidently the doe'tbr had 
gone a stones' east beyond the 1 chemistry of the' day, 
and, just as evidently,- he' did 7 fl&fc mean: to reveal 
his discovery for the benefit of science, nor for the 
benefit of any pockets except his own. 

The Extraction of the' Metal is an- tJttsorvable Mystery 

NOTWITHSTANDING the failure 6f.,tKe 
chemists to extract anything fr-ottr Dr. Syx's 
ore,- the public at large' never doubted 1 that 
the secret would be' discovered- in' good time, and 
thousands of prospectors flocked- to the' Teton- Mouh- 
tains in search of the ore. And' without milch dif- 
ficulty they found it. Evidently the 7 doctor had been 
mistaken in thinking that his mine might be' the 
only one. The new miners hurried speei'ineirs of : the 
green-speckled rock- to the chemical 1 laboratories' for 
experimentation' 1 ,- and 1 meanwhile began' to lay up 
stores of the' ore in- anticipation' 6f the time whett 
the proper way to extract the metal should be dia^ 
covered. 

But, alas I- that' time did- not come.- The 7 fresh 
ore ; proved to be as refractory as that which had 
been obtained' from' Dr.- Syx'. But- in' trie midst- of 
the universal disappointment- there came a 1 new 
sensation'. 

One morning the newspapers glared with a 1 des- 
patch from Grand Tetori 3-tation 7 anntfimcing that 
the metal- itself had been discovered by prospectors 
on the eastern slope 1 of- the main peakv 

"It outcrops in many places," ran the despatch,- 
"and many small nuggets have been picked out of 
crevices in the rocks/' 

The excitement produced' by this news- was even 1 
greater than when 1 gold was discovered 1 at the 1 south 
pole. Again a mad rush was made for the Tetons. 
The heights around Jackson's Bole 1 and the 7 shores 
of Jackson's and Jenny's' lakes- were' quickly d'otted 
with Camps, and the military force had to' be- 
doubled to keep off- the curious-, and occasionally 
menacing, crowds which gathered- in 1 the vicinity 
and seemed' bent on unearthing the great secret- 
lOcked' behind the windowle3s walls' of the 1 mihV 
where the column of black smoke and the roar of- 
the engine served as reminders' of thff incredible' 
wealth which the sole' possessor of- that secret was" 
rolling iip!- 

T-his' time no' mistake had 1 been' marie. It' was a> 
fact- that the- motah in virgin 1 purity,' had been dis- 
covered scattered in various places on the ledges' 
Of- the Grand Tetoiu- Br a little 7 while- thousands 7 had 
obtained specimens with' their own' hands 7 ; The- 
quantity was distressingly small, considering- tlrff 
number and- flie eagerness of- the seekers; but that 
it- was genuine 1 arteniisiuni not even 1 DrV Syx* could- 
have denied^ He,- however-,' made no attempt to- 
deny it. 

"Yes;" he- said, when' questioned/ "I find that" I 



have been deceived. At first I thought the ihetal 
existed only in the form of the green ore, but 6f late 
I- have come upon veins of pure artemisium in my 
mine. I am glad for your sakes, bnt sorry for my 
own. Still,- it may turn out that there is no great 
amount of free artemisium after all." 

The Mountain is Covered with Prospectors 

WHILE the doctor talked in this maimer close 
observers detected a lurking sneer which his 
ac^iia'intanceS had net notified since arte- 
misidm was first adopted as the money basis of trie 
world. 

The crowd that swarmed upon the mountain 
quickly exhausted all of the visible supply of the 
metal. Sometimes they found it in a thin stratum 
at the" bottom of crevices, where it could be de- 
tached in opalescent plates and leaves of the thick- 
ness of. paper. These superficial deposits evidently 
might have been formed from Water holding the 
metal in solution'. Occasionally, deep cracks Con- 
tained nuggets and wiry masses which' looked Si 
if- they had run together when molten. 

The most promising spots were soon staked Out 
in miners' claims, m noli hi cry was procured, stock 
companies were formed, and borings were' begun. 
The enthusiasm arising from the earlier finds' and 
the flattering surface indications caused everybody 
tct work with feverish haste and energy, and within 
two months one hundred tunnels were piercing trie 
-mountain'/ 

For' a long' time nobody was willing to admit the" 
truth which gradually forced itself upon the atten- 
tion- of the miners. The deeper" they went the scarc- 
er became the indications of artemisium! In fact, 
such deposits as wore found were confined to 1 fis- 
sures near' the : surface: But Dr.- Syx Continued to" 
report a surprising increase in the amount of freV 
metal in his' mine, and this encouraged all who had" 
not exhausted- their capital to push on' their tunnels" 
in' the hope of finally striking a vein. At length", 
however, the smaller operators gave up in despair, 
until only one heavily capitalized company remained' 
at work. 

CHAPTER V) 

A Strange Discovery 

« TF T isr my belief that Di ; . Max Syx is a deceiver."' 

H The person who uttered this opinion was a; 

-fir young engineer,- Andrew Hall, who had 
charge of the operations of one of the' mining com- 
panies which' were--' driving tunnels" into the' Grand' 
Tetonv 

"What do' you mean by that?" asked President- 
Boon 7 , who was the principal' backer of thfe enter-' 
prise-. 

"I mean;" replied 1 Hall',' "that there 7 is no fr£8 
metal- in- this 1 Mountain;- and' Dr. Syx; knows there' 
is 3 none:'' 

"But he is getting it himself from his mine," re^ 
tbrted President Booh. 

"So he says, but who has seen' it? No" one is air-' 
mitted- into the' Syx mine, his' foremen' are" forbid- 
den 1 to ; talk, and' his' workmen are specially import- 
ed' negroes who do not understand the English- lan- 
guage:" 

"But," persisted Mr. Boon, "how, then, db you' 
account rbr the nuggets scattered over the' mburi- 



THE MOON METAL 



331 



tain? And, besides what object could Dr. Syx have 
in pretending that there is free metal to be had 
for the digging?" 

"He may have Halted the mountain, for all I 
know," said Hall. "As for his object, I confess I 
am entirely in the dark, but, for alt that, I an* 
convinced that we shall find no more metal if we 
dig ten miles for it." 

"Nonsense," said the president;: "if we keep (tii 
we 3hall strike it. Did not Dr. Syx himself admit 
that he found no free artemisium until his tunnel 
had reached the core of the peak? We" must go as 
deep as he has gone before we give up." 

"I fear the depths he attains are beyond most 
people's reach," was Hall's answer, while a thought- 
ful look crossed hia clear-cut brow, "but since you 
desire it, of course the work shall go on, I should 
like, however, to change the direction of the tun- 
nel." 

"Certainly," replied Mr. Boon; "bore in what- 
ever direction you think proper, only don't des- 
pair." 

About a- month after this conversation Andrew 
Hall, with whom a community of tastes' in many 
things had made' me intimately acquainted, asked 
me one morning to accompany him 1 into' Ms tufi' 
nel. 

"I want to have s trusty friend at my elbow," 
he said, "for, unless I am- a dreamer, something re- 
markable will happen within the next hour, and 
two witnesses are better than one." 

A Friendly Investigator — Andrew Hatf Proposes to 
Solve the Mystery 

I KNEW Hall was not the person to' make such a 
remark carelessly, and my curiosity was in- 
tensely excited, but, knowing his peculiarities, 
I did not press him for an explanation. When we 
arrived at the head of the tunnel I was surprised at 
finding no workmen there. 

"I stopped blasting some time ago," said Ha0, in 
explanation, "for a reason which, I hope, will be- 
come evident to you Very soon. Lately I have been 
boring very slowly, and yesterday I paid off the 
men- and dismissed them with the announcement, 
which I am confident, President Boon will sanction 
after' he hears by reports of this morning's' work, 
that the tunnel is abandoned. You see,- 1 am now 
using a drill which I can manage without assis- 
tance, I believe the work is almost completed, and 
I want you: to witness the end of it." 

He' then carefully applied the drill, which noise- 
lessly screwed its nose into the rock. When: it had 
sunk, to a depth of & few inches he withdrew it, 
and, taking a hand-drill capable of making A hole 
not more than an eighth of am inch in diameter, 
cautiously began boring in; the centre of the larger 
cavitf. He had made hardly a hundred tur-n.3' of the 1 
bandle 1 when the: drill shot through the root! A 
gratified smile illuminated his features, and he said- 
in a suppressed voice: 

"Don't be alarmed;- I'm: going to put out the 
lighfc" 

Instantly we were in complete darkness,, but be- 
ing- dose at Hall's side I could detect his move- 
ments. He pulled out the drill,- and for half- a min- 
ute' remained, motionless as if listening. There-' was 
no sound. 



"I must enlarge the opening," he whispered, and 
immediately the faint grating of a sharp tool cut- 
ting through the rock informed, me of his pro- 
gress. 

"There," at last he said, "I think that will do ; 
now for a look." 

I Conld tell that he had placed his eye at the hole 
and Was gazing with breathless attention. Presently 
he pulled my sleeve. 

"Put your eye here," he whispered, pushing me 
into the proper position for looking through the 
hole. 

Looking Through a Peep-Hole 

AT first I could discern nothing except a smoky 
blue glow. But soon my vision cleared a little, 
and then I perceived that I was gazing into a 
narrow tunnel which met ours directly end to end. 
Glancing along the axis of thi3 gallery I saw, some 
two hundred yards away, a faint light Which evi- 
dently indicated the mouth of the tunnel.- 

At the end where we had met it the mysterious 
tunnel was considerably widened at one side, as if 
the excavators had started to change direction and 
then abandoned the work, and in this elbow I could 
just see the outlines of two or three fiat cars loaded 
with broken stone r while' a heap of the same ma- 
terial lay near them. Through the centre of the 
tunnel ran a railway track. 

"Do* you know what- you are looking at?" asked 
Hall in my ear. 

"I begin to suspect," I- repliedy "that you have ac- 
cidentally run into Dr. Syx"s mine." 

"If Dr. Syx had been on his guard this accident 
wouldn't have happened," replied Hall, with an al- 
mOBt inaudible chuckle. 

"I heard you remark a month- ago," I said, "that 
yoU were changing the direction of your tunnel. 
Has this 1 been the aims of- your labors ever' since?" 
Discoveries Under Hall's Auspices 
'"OU have' hit it/' he replied. "Long ago* I 
I became convinced that my company was 
throwing- away its money in a vain attempt 
to strike a lode of pure artemisium. But President 
Boon has great faith in Dr. Syx, and would not 
give up the work. So I adopted what I regarded a's 
the only practical method of proving the' truth of 
my opinion and saving the company's fundsi An 
electric indicater, of my invention, enabled me to 
locate the Syx tunnel when I got near it, and I have 
met it end- on,- and opened this peep-hole in order to 
observe the doctor's operations. I feet fihat such 
spying is entirely justified in the circumstances. 
Although I cannot yet explain' just how or why I 
feel sure that Dr. Syx Was the cause of- the sudden 
discovery of- the surface nuggets, and that he has 
encouraged the'miners for- his own ends,- until he has 
brought ruin to thousands' who have spent their last ' 
cent in driving useless tunnels into this mountaini 
It is a- righteous thing to expose him." 

"But," I interposed, "I do not see that you- have 
exposed anything yet except the interior o'f a- tuS- 
nel." 

"You 1 will' see' more' clearly after" a while;* #£<# 
the reply.- 

Hall now placed his eye again at the aperture, 
and wa3 unable entirely to repress the cxchrru: J ,;on 



i t 



332 



AMAZING STORIES 



Lhat rose to his lips. Ho remained staring through 
the hole for several minutes without uttering a 
word. Presently I noticed that the lenses of his 
eye were illuminated by a ray of light coming 
through the hole, but he did not stir. 

After a long inspection he suddenly applied hia 
ear to the hoJe and listened intently for at least five 
minutes. Not a sound was audible to me, but, by an 
occasional pressure of the hand, Hall signified that 
some important disclosure was reaching his sense 
of hearing. At length he removed his ear. 

"Pardon me," he whispered, "for keeping you so 
long in waiting, but what I have just seen and over- 
heard was of a nature to admit of no interruption. 
He is still talking, and by pressing your ear against 
the hole you may be able to catch what he says." 

"Who is 'he'?" 

"Look for yourself." 

I placed my eye at the aperture, and almost re- 
coiled with the violence of my surprise. The tun- 
nel before me was brilliantly illuminated, and with- 
in three feet of the wall of rock behind which we 
crouched stood Dr. Syx, his dark profile looking al- 
most satanic in the sharp contrast of light and 
shadow. He was talking to one of his foremen, and 
the two were the only visible occupants of the tun- 
nel. Putting my ear to the little opening, I heard 
his words distinctly: 

— "end of their rope. Well, they've spent a pretty 
lot of money for their experience, and I rather 
think we shall not be troubled again by artemisium- 
aeekers for some time to come." 

Spying On Dr. Syx 

THE doctor's voice ceased, and instantly I clap- 
ped my eye to the hole. He had changed his 
position so that his black eyes now looked 
Btraight at the aperture. My heart was in my 
mouth, for at first I believed from his expression 
that he had detected the gleam of my eyeball. But 
if so, he probably mistook it for a bit of mica in 
the rock, and paid no further attention. Then his 
lips moved, and I put my ear again to the hole. He 
seemed to be replying to a question that the fore- 
man had asked, 

"If they do," he said, "they will never guess the 
real secret." 

Thereupon he turned on his heel, kicked a bit of 
rock off the track, and strode away towards the en- 
trance. The foreman paused long enough to turn 
out the electric lamp, and then followed the doctor. 

"Well," asked Hall, "what have you heard?" 

I told him everything. 

"It fully corroborates the evidence of my own 
eyes and ears," he remarked, "and we may count 
ourselves extremely lucky. It is not likely that Dr. 
Syx will be heard a second time proclaiming his de- 
ception with his own lips. It is plain that he was 
led to talk as he did to the foreman on account of 
the latter's having informed him of the sudden dis- 
charge of my men this morning. Their presence 
within ear-shot of our hiding-place during their 
conversation was, of course, pure accident, and so 
you can see how kind fortune has been to us. I 
expected to have to watch and listen and form de- 
ductions for a week, at least, before getting the in- 
formation which five lucky minutes have placed in 
our hands." 



While he was speaking my companion busied 
himself in carefully plugging up the hole in the 
rock. When it was closed to his satisfaction he 
turned on the light in our tunnel. 

"Did you observe," he asked, "that there was a 
second tunnel?" 

"What do yon say?" 

"When the light was on in there I saw the mouth 
of a small tunnel entering the main one behind the 
cars on the right. Did you notice it?" 

"Oh yes," I replied. "I did observe some kind of 
a dark hole there, but I paid no attention to it be- 
cause I was so absorbed in the doctor." 

"Well," rejoined Hall, smiling, "it was worth 
considerably more than a glance. As a subject of 
thought I find it even more absorbing than Dr. Syx. 
Did you see the track in it?" 

"No," I had to acknowledge, "I did not notice that. 
But," I continued, a little piqued by his manner, 
"being a branch of the main tunnel, I don't see any- 
thing remarkable in its having a track also." 

"It was rather dim in that hole," said Hall, still 
smiling in a somewhat provoking way, "but the 
railroad track was there plain enough. And, whether 
you think it remarkable or not, I should like to lay 
you a wager that that track leads to a secret worth 
a dozen of the one we have just overheard." 

"My good friend," I retorted, still smarting a 
little, "I shall not presume to match my stupidity 
against your perspicacity. I haven't cat's eyes in 
the dark." 

Hall immediately broke out laughing, and, slap- 
ping me good-naturedly on the shoulder, exclaimed: 

"Come, come now! If you go to kicking back at a 
fellow like that, I shall be sorry I ever undertook 
this adventure," 

CHAPTER VI 
A Mystery Indeed 

WHEN President Boon had heard our story 
he promptly approved Hall's dismissal of 
the men. He expressed great surprise that 
Dr. Syx should have resorted to a deception which 
had been so disastrous to innocent people, and at 
first he talked of legal proceedings. But, after 
thinking the matter over, he concluded that Syx was 
too powerful to be attacked with success, especially 
when the only evidence against him was that he 
had claimed to find artemisium in his mine at a 
time when, as everybody knew, artemisium actually 
was found outside the mine. There was no appar- 
ent motive for the deception, and no proof of ma- 
licious intent. In short, Mr. Boon decided that the 
best thing for him and his stockholders to do was to 
keep silent about their Josses and await events. And, 
at Hall's suggestion, he also determined to say 
nothing to anybody about the discovery he had made. 

"It could do no good," said Hall, in making the 
suggestion, "and it might spoil a plan I have in 
mind." 

"What plan?" asked the president. 

"I prefer not to tell just yet," was the reply. 

I observed that, in our interview with Mr. Boon, 
Hall made no reference to the side tunnel to which 
he had appeared to attach so much importance, and 
I concluded that he now regarded it as lacking sig- 
nificance. In this I was mistaken. 



THE MOON METAL 



333 



A few clays afterwards I received an invitation 
from Hall to accompany him once more into the 
abandoned tunnel, 

"I have found out what that side-track means, " 
he said, "and it has plunged me into another mys- 
tery so dark and profound that I cannot see my way 
through it. I must beg you to say no word to any 
one concerning the thing I am about to show you." 

I gave the required promise, and we entered the 
tunnel, which nobody had visited since our former 
adventure. Having extinguished our lamp, my 
companion opened the peep-hole, and a thin ray of 
light streamed through from the tunnel on the op- 
posite side of the wall. He applied his eye to the 
hole. 

"Yea," he said, quickly stepping back and push- 
ing me into his place, "they are still at it. Look, 
and tell me what you see." 

"I see," I replied, after placing my eye at the 
aperture, "a gang of men unloading a car which 
has just come out of the side tunnel, and putting 
its contents upon another car standing on the track 
of the main tunnel." 

"Yes, and what are they handling?" 

"Why, ore, of course." 

"And do you see nothing significant in that?" 

"To be sure!" I exclaimed. "Why, that ore—-" 

"Hush! hush!" admonished Hall, putting his 
hand over my mouth; "don't talk so laud. Now 
go on, in a whisper." 

"The ore," I resumed, "may have come back from 
the furnace-room, because the side tunnel turna off 
so. as to run parallel with the other." 

"It not only may have come back, it actually has 
come back," said Hall. 

"How can you be sure?" 

"Because I have been over the track, and know 
that it leads to a secret apartment directly under 
the furnace in which Dr. Syx pretends to melt the 
ore !" 

For a minute after hearing this avowal I was 
speechless. 

"Are you serious?" I asked at length. 

Dr. Syx is a Systematic Deceiver 

" T^ ERFECTLY aeriolls - Eun vour finger along 
I—* the rock here. Do you perceive a seam? 

M. Two days ago, after seeing what you have 
just witnessed in the Syx tunnel, I carefully cut out 
a section of the wall, making an aperture large 
enough to crawl through, and, when I knew the 
workmen were asleep, I crept in there and examined 
both tunnels from end to end. But in solving one 
mystery I have run myself into another infinitely 
more perplexing." *> 

"How is that?" 

"Why does Dr. Syx take such elaborate pain's to 
deceive hi3 visitors, and also the government of- 
ficers? It is now plain that he conducts no min- 
ing operations whatever. This mine of his is a 
gigantic blind. Whenever inspectors or scientific 
curiosity seekers visit his mill his mute workmen 
assume the air of being very busy, the cars laden 
with his so-called 'ore* rumble out of the tunnel, 
and their contents are ostentatiously poured into 
the furnace, or appear to be poured into it, really 
dropping into a receptacle beneath, to be carried 



hack into the mine again. And then the doctor leads 
his gulled visitors around to the other side of thB 
furnace and shows them the molten metal coming 
out in streams, Now what does it ail mean? That's 
what I'd like to find out. What's his game? For, 
mark you, if he doesn't get artemisium from this 
pretended ore, he gets it from some other source, 
and right on this spot, too. There is no doubt about 
that. The whole world is supplied by Syx's furnace, 
and Syx feeds his furnace with something tbat 
comes from his ten acres of Grand Teton rock. 
What is that something? How does he get it, and 
where doe3 he hide it? These are the things I 
should like to find out," 

"Well," I replied, "I fear I can't help you." 

"But the difference between you and me," he re- 
torted, "is that you can go to sleep over it, while 
I shall never get another good night's rest so long 
as this black mystery remains unsolved," 

"What will you do?" 

"I don't know exactly what. But I've got a dim 
idea which may take shape after a while." 

Hall was silent for some time; then he suddenly 
asked: 

"Did you ever hear of that queer magic-lantern 
show with which Dr. Syx entertained Mr. Boon and 
the members of the financial commission in the 
early days of the artemisium business?" 

"Yes, I've heard the story, but I don't think it 
was ever made public. The newspapers never got 
hold of it." 

"No, I believe not. O'dd thing, wasn't it?" 

"Why, yes, very odd, but just like the doctor's 
eccentric ways, though. He's always doing some- 
thing to astonish somebody, without any apparent 
earthly reason. But what put you in mind of that?" 

"Free artemisium put me in mind of it," replied 
Hall, quizzically. 

"I don't see the connection," 

"I'm not sure that I do either, but when yoii are 
dealing with Dr. Syx nothing is too improbable to 
be thought of." 

Andrew Hall is Meditating 

HALL thereupon fell to musing again, while 
we returned to the entrance of the tunnel. 
After he had made everything secure, and 
slipped the key into his pocket, my companion re- 
marked : 

"Don't you think it would be best to keep this 
latest discovery to ourselves?" 

"Certainly." 

"Because," he continued, "nobody would be bene- 
fitted just now by knowing what we know, and to 
expose the worthlessness of the 'ore' might cause 
a panic. The public is a queer animal, and never 
gets scared at just the thing you expect will alarm 
it, but always at something else." 

We had shaken hands and were separating when 
Hall stopped me. 

"Do you believe in alchemy?" he asked. 

"That's an odd question from you," I replied. "I 
thought alchemy was exploded long ago." 

"Well," he said, slowly, "I suppose it has been 
exploded, but then, you know, an explosion may 
sometimes be a kind of instantaneous education, 
old things but revealing new ones." 



AMAZING STORIES 



CHAPTER. VII 
The Age of Artemis 



IMPORTANT business called me East soon after 
the meeting with Hal! described in the forego- 
ing chapter, and before J again saw the Grand 
Teton veiy stirring events had taken place. 

As the reader is aware, Dr. Syx's agreement 
with the various governments limited the output 
of his mine. An international commission, contin- 
ually in session in New York, adjusted the differ- 
ences arising among the nations concerning finan- 
cial affairs, and allotted to each the proper amount 
of artemisium for coinage. Of course, this amount 
varied from time to time, but a fair average could 
easily he maintained. The gradual increase of 
wealth, in houses, machinery, manufactured and 
artistic products called for a corresponding in- 
crease in the circulating medium ; but this, too, waB 
easily provided for. An equally painstaking super- 
vision was exercised over the amount of the prec- 
ious metal which Dr. Syx was permitted to supply 
to the markets for use in the arts. On this side, 
also, the demand gradually increased; but the 
wonderful Teton mine seemed equal to all calls upon 
its resources. 

After the. failure of the mining operations there 
was a moderate revival of the efforts to reduce the 
Teton ore, but no success cheered the experiment- 
ers. Prospectors also wandered all over the earth 
looking for pure artemisium, but in vain. The gen- 
eral public, knowing nothing of what Hall had dis- 
covered, and still helievjng Syx's story that he also 
had fonnd pure artemisium in his mine, accounted 
for the failure of the tunnelling operations on the 
aupposition that the metal, in a free state, was ex- 
cessively rare, and that Dr. Syx had had the luck 
to strike the only vein of it that the Grand Teton 
contained. Ab if to give countenance to this opin- 
ion, Dr. Syx now announced, in the most public 
manner, that he had been deceived again, and that 
the vein of free metal he had struck being eahausted, 
no other had appeared. Accordingly, he said, he 
must henceforth rely exclusively, as in the begin- 
ning, upon reduction of the ore. 

Artemisium had proved itself an immense boon' 
to mankind, and the new era of commercial pros- 
perity which it had ushered in already exceeded 
everything that the world had known in the past. 
School-children learned that human civilization had 
taken five great strides, known respectively, begin- 
ning at the bottom, as the "age of stone," the "age 
of bronze," the "age of iron," the "age of gold," 
and the "age of artemisium." 

The Mobs Object to the Restriction: of the World's 
Currencies 

NEVERTHELESS, sources of dissatisfaction' 
finally began to appear, and, after the na- 
ture of such things, they developed with 
marvellous rapidity. People began to grumble 
about "contraction of the currency." In every coun- 
try there arose a party which demanded "free 
money." Demagogues pointed to the brief reign of 
paper money after the demonetization of gold as a 
happy period, when the people had enjoyed their 
rights, and the "money barons" — borrowing a term 
from nineteenth-century history?-were kept at bay. 



Then came denunciations of the international 
commission for restricting the^ coinage. Dr. Syx 
was described as "a devil-fish sucking the veins of 
the planet and holding it helpless in the grasp of 
his tentacular billions." In the United States meet- 
tings of agitators passed furious resolutions, de- 
nouncing the government, assailing the rich, curs- 
ing Dr. Syx, and calling upon "the oppressed" to 
rise and "take their own." The final outcome was, 
of course, violence. Mobs had to be suppressed by 
military force. But the most dramatic scene in the 
tragedy occurred at the Grand Teton. Excited by 
inflammatory speeches and printed documents, sev- 
eral thousand armed men assembled in the neighbor- 
hood of Jenny's Lake and prepared to attack the 
Syx mine. For some reason the military guard had 
been depleted, and the mob, under the leadership of 
a man named Bings, who showed no little talent as 
a commander and strategist, surprised the small 
force of soldiers and locked them up in their own 
guard-house. 

Telegraphic communication having been cut off 
by the astute Bings, a fierce attack was made on 
the mine. The assailants swarmed up the sides of 
the canyon, and attempted to break in through the 
foundation of the buildings. But the masonry wa3 
stronger than they had anticipated, and the attack 
failed. Sharp-shooters then climbed the neighbor- 
ing heights, and kept up an incessant peppering of 
the walls with conical bullets driven at four thous- 
and feet per second. 

No reply come from the gloomy structure. The 
huge column of black smoke rose uninterruptedly 
into the sky, and the noise of the great engine never 
ceased for an instant. The mob gathered closer on 
all sides and redoubled the fire of the rifles, to 
which was now added the belching of several ma- 
chine-guns. Ragged holes began to appear in the 
walls, and at the sight of these the assailants yelled 
with delight. It was evident that the mill could not 
long withstand so destructive a bombardment. If 
the besiegers had possessed artillery they would 
have knocked the buildings into splinters within 
twenty minutes. As it was, they would need a 
whole day to win their victory. 

A Riot and An Attack On the Mill of Dr. Syx 

SUDDENLY it became evident that the be- 
sieged were about to take a hand in the fight. 
Thus far they had not shown themselves or 
fired a shot, but now a movement was perceived on 
the roof, and the projecting arms of some kind of 
machinery became visible. Many marksmen con- 
centrated their fire upon the mysterious objects, 
but apparently with little effect. Bings, mounted 
on a rock, so as to command a clear view of the 
field, was on the point of ordering a party to rush 
forward with axes and beat down the formidable 
doors, when there came a blinding flash from the 
roof, something swished through the air, and a 
gust of heat met the assailants in the face. Bings 
dropped dead from his perch, and then, as if the 
scythe of the Destroyer had swung downward, and 
to the right and left in quick succession, the close- 
packed mob was. levelled, rank after rank, until the 
few survivors crept hehjnd rocka for refuge. 

Instantly the atmospheric broom swept up and 
down the canyon and across the mountain's flanks, 



THE MOON METAL 



335 



and -the marksmen fell in bunches like shaken 
grapes. Nine-tenths of the besiegers were destroyed 
within ten minutes after the first movement had 
been noticed on the roof. Those who survived owed 
their escape to the rocks which concealed them, and 
they lost no time in crawling oif into neighboring 
chasms, and, as soon as they were beyond eye?shot 
from the mill, they fled with panic speed. 

Then the towering form of Dr. Syx appeared at 
the door. Emerging without sign of fear or excite- 
ment, he picked his way among his fallen enemies, 
and, approaching the military guard-house, undid 
the fastening and set the imprisoned soldiers free. 

"I think I am paying rather dear for my whistle," 
he said, with a characteristic sneer, to Captain 
Carter, the commander of the troop. "It seems that 
I must not only defend my own people and property 
when attacked by mob force, but must also come to 
the rescue of the soldiers whose pay-rolls are met 
from my pocket-" 

The captain made no reply, and Dr. Syx strode 
back to the works. When the released soldiers saw 
what had occurred their amazement had no bounds. 
It was necessary at once to dispose of the dead, and 
this was no easy undertaking for their small force. 
However, they accomplished it, and at the begin- 
ning of their work made a most surprising discov- 
ery. 

"How's thie, Jim?" said one of the men te his 
comrade, as they stooped to lift the nearest victim 
of Dr. Syx's withering fire, "What's this fellow got 
all over him?" 

"Artemisium! 'pon ray soul!" responded Jim, 
staring at the body. "He's all coated over with it." 

—v, End of the Riot 

IMMEDIATELY from all sides came similar 
exclamations. Every man who had fallen was 
covered with a film of the precious metal, as if 
he had been dipped into an electrolytic bath. Clothe 
ing seemed to have been charred, and the metallic 
atoms had penetrated the flesh of the victims. The 
rpcks all around the battle-field were similarly ve- 
neered. 

"It looks to me," said Captain Carter, "as if old 
Syx had turned one of his spouts of artemisium into 
a hose-pipa and soaked 'em with it." 

"That's it," chimed in a lieutenant, "that's ex- 
actly what he's done." 

"Well," returned the captain, "if he can do that, 
I don't see what use he's got for us here." 

"Probably he don't want to waste the stuff," said 
the lieutenant. "What do you suppose- it cost kjm 
to plate this crowd?" 

"I guess a month's pay for the whole troop 
wouldn't cover the expense. It's costly^ but then— z 
gracious ! Wouldn't I have given something- for the 
doctor's hose when I was a youngster campaigning 
in the Philippines in '09?" 

The stpry of the marvellous way in which Dr. 
Syx defended his mill became the sensation of the 
world for many days. The hose-pipe theory, struqk 
off on the spot by Captain Carter, seized the popu- 
lar fancy, and. was generally accepted without fur- 
ther question. There was an element of the ludicrous 
which robbed the tragedy of some of its horror. 
jjoreover, no one could deny that Dr. Syx was well 
within his rights in defending himself by ang 



means when so savagely attacked, and his triumph-- . 
ant success, no less than the ingenuity which was 
supposed to underlie it, placed him in an heroic 
light which he had not hitherto enjoyed. 

As to the demagogues who were responsible for 
the outbreak and its terrible consequences, they 
slunk out of the public eye, and the result of the 
battle at the mine seemed to have been a clearing up 
of the atmosphere, such as a thunderstorm effects 
at the close of a season of foul weather. 

But now, little as men guessed it, the beginning 
of the end was close at hand. 

CHAPTER VIII 

The Ppteetiye of Science 

THE morning of my arrival at Grand Teton 
station, on my return from the East, An- 
drew Hall met me with a warm greeting. 

"I have been anxiously expecting you," he said, 
''for I have made some progress towards solving 
the great mystery. I have not yet reached a con- 
clusion, but I hope soon to let you into the entire 
secret. In the meantime you can aid me with your 
eompanionship, if in no other'way, for, since the 
defeat of the mob, this place has been mighty lone- 
some. The Grand Teton is a spot that people who 
have no particular business out here carefully 
avoid. I am on speaking terms with Dr. Syx, and 
occasionally, when there is a party to be shown 
around, I visit his works, and make the best pos- 
sible use of my eyes. Captain Carter of the military 
is a capital fellow, and I like to hear his stories of 
the war in Luzon forty years ago, but I want some- 
body to whom I can occasionally confide things, and' 
sq you are as welcome as moonlight in harvest- 
time." 

"Tell me something about that wonderful fight 
with the meb. Did you see it?" 

"I did. I had got wind of what Bings intended to 
do while I was down at Pocotello, and I hurried up 
here to warn the soldiers, but unfortunately I came 
too late. Finding the military cooped up in the 
guard-house and the mab masters of the situation, 
I kept out of sight on the side of the Teton, and 
watched the siege with my binocular. I think there 
was very little of the spectacle that I missed." 

"What of the mysterious force that the doctor 
employed to sweep off the assailants?" 

"Of course, Captain Carter's suggestion that Syx 
turned molten artemisium from his furnace into a 
hose-pipe and sprayed the enemy with it is ridicu- 
lous. But it is much easier to dismiss Carter's 
theory than to substitute a better one. I saw the 
doctor on the roof with a gang of black workmen, 
and I noticed thfi flash of polished metal turned 
rapidly this way and that, but there was some in- 
tervening obstacle which prevented me from getting 
a good view of the mechanism employed. It cer- 
tainly bore ne resemblance to a hose^pipe, or any-. 
thing of that kind. Mo emanation was visible from 
the maehine, but it was stupefying to see the mob 
melt down." 

"How about the coating of the bodies with arte* 
misium?" 

"There you are back on the hose-pipe again," 
laughed Hall. "But, to tell you the truth, I'd rather 
be excused from expressing an opinion.on that op- 



336 



AMAZING STORIES 



A' 



eration in wholesale electro-plating just at present. 
I've the ghost of an idea what it means, but let me 
test my theory a little before I formulate it. Id the 
meanwhile, won't you take a stroll with me?" 

"Certainly; nothing could please hie better," I 
replied. "Which way shall we go?" 

"To the top of the Grand Teton." 

"What! are you seized with the mountain-climb- 
ing fever?" 

"Not exactly, but I have a particular reason for, 
wishing to take a look from that pinnacle." 

"I suppose you know the real apex of the peak 
has never been trodden by man?" 

"I do know it, but it is just that apex that I am 
determined to have under my feet for ten minutes. 
The failure of others is no argument for us." 

"Just as you say," I rejoined. "But I suppose 
there is no indiscretion in asking whether this little 
climb has any relation to the mystery?" 

"If it didn't have an important relation to the 
clearing up of that dark thing I wouldn't risk my 
neck in such an undertaking," was the reply. 

Wandering Over the Great Teton Peak 
CCORDINGLY, the next morning we set out 
for the peak. All previous climbers, as we 
. were aware, had attacked it from the west. 
That seemed the obvious thing to do, because the 
westward slopes of the mountain, while very steep, 
are les3 abrupt than those which face the rising sun. 
In fact, the eastern side of the Grand Teton ap- 
pears to be absolutely unclimable. But both Hall 
and I had had experience with rock climbing in the 
Alps and the Dolomites, and we knew that what 
looked like the hardest places sometimes turn out 
to be next to the easiest. Accordingly we decided-^ 
the more particularly because it would save time, 
hut also because we yielded to the common desire 
to outdo our predecessors — to try to scale the giant 
right up his face. 

We carried a very light but exceedingly strong 
rope, about five hundred feet long, wore nail-shod 
shoes, and had each a metal-pointed staff and a' 
small hatchet in lieu of the regular mountaineer's 
axe. Advancing at first along the broken ridge be- 
tween two gorges we gradually approached the 
steeper part of the Teton, where the cliffs looked so 
sheer and smooth that it seemed no wonder that no- 
body had ever tried to scale them. The air was de- 
liciously clear and the sky wonderfully blue above 
the mountains, and the moon, a few days past its 
last quarter, was visible in the southwest, its pale 
crescent face slightly blued by the atmosphere, as it 
always appears when Been in daylight. 

"Slow westering, a phantom sail — 
The lonely soul of yesterday." 

Behind us, somewhat north of east, lay the Syx 
works, with their black smoke rising almost vertic- 
ally in the still air. Suddenly, as we stumbled along 
on the rough surface, something whizzed past my 
face and fell on the rock at my feet. I looked at the 
strange missile, that had come like a meteor out of 
open space, with astonishment. 

It was a bird, a beautiful specimen of the scarlet 
tanagers, which I remembered the early explorera 
had found inhabiting the Teton canyons, their brill- 
iant plumage borrowing splendor from contrast 



I 



with the gloomy surroundings. It lay motionless, 
its outstretched wings having a curious shrivelled 
aspect, while the flaming color of the breast wa3 
half obliterated with smutty patches. Stooping to 
pick it up, I noticed a slight bronzing,' which in- 
stantly recalled to my mind the peculiar appearance 
of the victims of the attack on the mine. 

"Look here!" I called to Hall, who was several 
yards in advance. He turned, and I held up the 
bird by a wing?" 

"Where did you get that?" he asked. 

"It fell at my feet a moment ago." 

Hall glanced in a startled manner at the sky, and 
then down the slope of the mountain. 

"Did you notice in what direction it was flying?" 
he asked. 

"No, it dropped so close that it almost grazed 
my nose. I saw nothing of it until it made me 
blink." 

Andrew Hall Does Not Tell Everything 
HAVE been heedless," muttered Hall under 
his breath. At the time I did not notice the 
singularity of his remark, my. attention being 
absorbed in contemplating the unfortunate tanager. 

"Look how its feathers are scorched," I said. 

"I know it," Hall replied, without glancing at the 
bird. 

"And it is covered with a film of artemisium," I 
added, a little piqued hy his abstraction. 

"I know that, too." 

"See here. Hall," I exclaimed, "are you trying to 
make game of me?" 

"Not at all, my dear fellow," he replied, dropping 
his cogitation. "Pray forgive me. But this iB no 
new phenomenon to me. I have picked up birds in 
that condition on this mountain before. There is a 
terrible mystery here, but I am slowly letting light 
into it, and if we succeed in reaching the top of the 
peak I have good hope that the illumination will 
increase." 

"Here now," he added a moment later, sitting 
down upon a rock and thrusting the blade of his 
penknife into a crevice, "what do you think of this?" 

He held up a little nugget of pure artemisium, 
and then went on : 

"You know that all this slope was swept as clean 
as a Dutch housewife's kitchen floor by the thous- 
ands of miners and prospectors who swarmed over 
it a year or two ago, and do you suppose they would 
have missed such a tidbit if it had bees here then?" 

"Dr. Syx must have been salting the mountain 
again," I suggested. 

"Well," replied Hall, with a significant smile, "if 
the doctor hasn't salted it somebody else has, that's 
plain enough. But perhaps you would like to know 
precisely what I expect to find out when we get on 
the topknot of the Teton." 

"I should certainly be delighted to learn the ob- 
ject of our journey," I said. "Of course, I'm only go- 
ing along for company and for the fun of the thing; 
but you know you can count on me for substantial 
aid whenever you need it." 

"It is because you are so willing to let ihe keep 
my own counsel," he rejoined, "and to wait for 
things to ripen before compelling me to disclose 
them, that I like to have you with me at critical 
times. Now, as to the object of this break-neck 



THE MOON METAL 



33? 



A u 



expedition, whose risks you understand as fully a3 
I do, I need not assure you that it is of supreme 
importance to the success of ray plans. In a word, 
I hope to be able to look down into a part of Dr. 
Syx's mill which, if I am not mistaken, no human 
eye except his and those of his most trustworthy 
helpers has even been permitted to see. And if I 
see there what I fully expect to see, I shall have got 
a long step nearer to a great fortune." 

"Good!" I cried. "En avant, then! We are los- 
ing time." 

CHAPTER IX 
The Top of the Grand Teton 
^HB climbing soon became difficult, until at 
length we were going up hand over hand, 
taking advantage of crevices and knobs 
which an inexperienced eye would have regarded as 
incapable of affording a grip for the fingers or a 
support for the toes. Presently we arrived at the 
foot of a stupendous precipice, which was absolutely 
insurmountable by any ordinary method of ascent. 
Paris of it overhung, and everywhere the face of the 
rock was too free from irregularities to afford any 
footing, except to a fly. 

"Now, to borrow the expression of old Bunyan, 
we are hard put to it," I remarked. "If you will go 
to the left I will take the right and see if there is 
any chance of getting up." 

"I don't believe we could find any place easier than 
this," Hall replied, "and so up we go where we are." 

"Have you a pair of wings concealed about you7" 
I asked, laughing at his folly. 

"Well, something nearly as good," he responded, 
unstrapping his knapsack. He produced a silken 
bag, which he unfolded on the rock. 
--._ "A balloon !" I exclaimed. "But how are you going 
to-Jnflate it?" 

For reply Hall showed me a receptacle which, he 
said, contained liquid hydrogen, and which was 
furnished with a device for retarding the volatiliza- 
tion of the liquid so that it could be carried with 
little loss. 

"You remember I have a small laboratory in the 
abandoned mine," he explained, "where we used to 
manufacture liquid air for blasting. This balloon 
I made for our present purpose. It will just suf- 
fice to carry up our rope, and a small but practically 
unbreakable grapple of hardened gold. I calculate 
to send the grapple to the top of the precipice with 
the balloon, and when it has obtained a firm hold in 
the riven rock there we can ascend, sailor fashion. 
You see the rope has knots, and I know your muscles 
are as trustworthy in such work as my own." 

There was a slight breeze from the eastward, and 
the current of air slanting up the face of the peak 
assisted the balloon in mounting with its burden, 
and favored us by promptly swinging the little air- 
ship, with the grapple swaying beneath it, over the 
brow of the cliff into the atmospheric eddy above. 
A3 soon as we saw that the grapple was well over 
the edge we pulled upon the rope. The balloon in- 
stantly shot into view with the anchor dancing, 
but, under the influence of the wind, quickly re- 
turned to its former position behind the projecting 
brink. The grapple had failed to take hold. 

" 'Try, try again' must be our motto now," mut- 
tered Hall. 



We tried several times with the same result, al- 
though each time we slightly shifted our position. 
At last the grapple caught. 

"Now, all together!" cried my companion, and 
simultaneously we threw our weight upon the 
slender rope. The anchor apparently did not give 
an inch. 

"Let me go first," said Hall, pushing me aside as 
I caught the first knot above ray head. "It's my de- 
vice, and it's only fair that I should have the first 
try." 

Climbing Teton Peak and Trying for Its Summit 

IN a minute he was many feet up the wail, climb- 
ing swiftly hand over hand, but occasionally 
stopping and twisting hi3 leg around the rope 
while he took breath. 

"It's easier than I expected," he called down, when 
he had ascended about one hundred feet. "Here and 
there the rock offera a little hold for the knees." 

I watched him, breathless with anxiety, and, as 
he got higher, my imagination pictured the little 
gold grapple, invisible above the brow of the preci- 
pice, with perhaps a single thin prong wedged into a 
crevice, and slowly ploughing its way towards the 
edge with each impulse of the climber, until but an- 
other pull was needed to set it flying ! So vivid was 
my fancy that I tried to banish it by noticing that 
a certain knot in the rope remained just at the level 
of my eyes, where it had been from the start. Hall 
was now fully two hundred feet above the ledge on 
which I stood, and was rapidly nearing the top of 
the precipice. In a minute more he would be safe. 

Suddenly he shouted, and, glancing up with a leap 
of the heart, I saw that he was falling ! He kept his 
face to the rock, and came down feet foremost. It 
would be useless to attempt any description of my 
feelings; I would not go through that experience 
again for the price of a battleship. Yet it lasted less 
than a second. He had dropped not more than ten 
feet when the fall was arrested. 

"All right!" he called, cheerily. "No harm done! 
It was only a slip." 

But what a slip ! If the balloon had not carried 
the anchor several yards back from the edge it 
would have had no opportunity to catch another 
hold as it shot forward. And how could we know 
that the second hold would prove more secure than 
the first? Hall did not hesitate, however, for one 
instant. Up he went again. But, in fact, his best 
chance was in going up, for he was within four 
yards of the top when the mishap occurred. With a 
sigh of relief I saw him at last throw his arm over 
the verge and then wriggle his body upon the ledge. 
A few seconds later he was lying on his stomach, 
with his face over the edge, looking down at me. 

"Come on !" he shouted. "It's all right." 

When I had pulled myself over the brink at hi3 
side I grasped hi3 hand and pressed it without a 
word. We understand one another. 

"It was pretty close to a miracle," he remarked 
at last. "Look at this." 

The rock over which the grapple had slipped was 
deeply scored by the unyielding point of the metal, 
and exactly at the verge of the precipice the prong 
had wedged itself into a narrow crack, so firmly 
that we had to chip away the stone in order to re- 
lease it. If it had slipped a single inch farther bf>- 



AMAZING STORIES 



fore taking hold it -would have been all over with 
my friend. 

The Summit Attained by the Two Explorers 

SUCH experiences shake the strongest nerves, 
and we sat on the shelf we had attained for 
fully a quarter of an hour before we ventured 
to attack the next precipice which hung beetling 
directly above us. It was not as lofty as the one we 
had just ascended, but it impended to such a de- 
gree that we saw we should have to climb our rope 
while it swung free in the air! 

Luckily we had little difficulty in getting a grip 
for the prongs, and we took every precaution to 
test the security of the anchorage, not only putting 
our combined weight repeatedly upon the rope, but 
flipping and jerking it with all our strength. The 
grapple resisted every effort to dislodge it, and 
finally I started up, insisting on my turn as leader. 

The height I had to ascend did not exceed one 
hundred feet, but that is a very great distance to 
climb on a swinging rope, without a wall within 
reach to assist by its friction and occasional friendly 
projections. In a little while my movements, to- 
gether with the effect of the slight wind, had im- 
parted a most distressing oscillation to the rope. 
This sometimes carried me with a nerve-shaking 
bang against a prominent point of the precipice, 
where I would dislodge loose fragments that kept 
Hall dodging for his life, and then I would swing 
out, apparently beyond the brow of the cliff below, 
so that, as I involuntarily glanced downward, I 
seemed to be hanging in free space,, while the steep 
mountainside, looking ten times steeper than it 
really was, resembled the vertical wall of an ab- 
solutely bottomless abyss, as if I were suspended" 
over the edge of the world. 

I avoided thinking of what the grapple might be 
about, and in my haste to get through with the 
awful experience I worked myself fairly out of 
breath, so that, when at last I reached the rounded 
brow of the cliff, I had to stop and cling there for 
fully a minute before I could summon strength 
enough to lift myself over it. 

When I was assured that the grapple was still 
securely fastened I signalled to Hall, and he soon 
stood at my side, exclaiming, as he wiped the 
perspiration from his faee; 

"I think I'll try wings next time!" 

But our difficulties had only begun. As we had 
foreseen, it was a case of Alp above Alp, to the very 
limit of human strength and patience. However, it 
would have been impossible to go back. In order 
to descend the two precipices we had surmounted 
it would have been necessary to leave our life-lines 
clinging to the rocks, and we had not rope enough to 
do that. If we could not reach the top we were 



A View from the Summit and Spying on Dr. Syx 

HAVING refreshed ourselves with a bite to 
eat and a little stimulant, we resumed the 
climb. After several hours of the most ex- 
hausting work I have ever performed we pulled our 
weary limbs upon the narrow ridge, but a few 
square yards in area, which constitutes the apex of 
the Grand Teton. A little below, on the opposite side 
of a steep-walled gap which divides the top of the 



mountain into two parts, we saw the singular en- 
closure of stones which the early white explorers 
found there, and which they ascribed to the In- 
dians, although nobody has ever known who built 
it or what purpose it served. 

The view was, of eourae, superb, but while I was 
admiring it in all its wonderful extent and variety, 
Hall, who had immediately pulled out his binocular, 
was busy inspecting the Syx works, the top of whose 
great tufted smoke column was thousands of feet 
beneath our level. Jackson's Lake, Jenny's Lake, 
Leigh's Lake, and several lakelets glittered in the 
sunlight amid the pale grays and greens of Jack- 
son's Hole, while many a bending reach of the Snake 
Kiver shone amid the wastes of sage-brush and 
rock. 

"There!" suddenly exclaimed Ha!L.J[ thought I 
should find it." 

"What?" 

"Take a look through my glass at the roof of 
Syx's mill. Look just in the centre." 

"Why, it's open in the middle!" I cried as soon as 
I had put the glass to my eyes. "There's a big cir- 
cular hole in the centre of the roof." 

"Look inside! Look inside!" repeated HalL im- 
patiently. 

"I see nothing there except something bright." 

"Do you call it nothing because it is bright!" 

"Well, no," I replied, laughing. "What I mean is 
that I see nothing that I can make anything of ex- 
cept a shining object, and all I can make of that is 
that it is bright" 

"You've been in the Syx works many times, 
haven't you?" 

"Yes." 

"Did you ever see the opening in the roof 7** 

"Never." 

"Then Dr. Syx doesn't show his visitors ©very- 
thing that is to be seen." 

"Evidently' not since, as we know, he concealed 
the double tunnel and the room under the fur- 



Dr. Syx An Alchemist 

* ( I "\ ^" ^^ ^ as concea ' e ^ a bigger secret than 
fj 1 that," Hall responded, "and the Grand 

A^r Teton has helped me to a glimpse of it. 

For several minutes my friend was absorbed in 
thought. Then he broke out: 

"X tell you he's the most wonderful man in the 
world !" 

"Who, Dr. Syx? Well, I've long thought that." 

"Yes, but I mean in a different way from what 
you are thinking of. Do you remember my asking 
you once if you believed in alchemy?" 

"I remember being greatly surprised by your 
question to! that effect." 

"Well, now," said Hal], rubbing his hands with a 
satisfied air, while his eyes glanced keen and bright 
with the reflection of some passing thought, "Max 
Syx is greater than any alchemist that ever lived. 
If those old fellows in the dark ages had accom- 
plished everything ihey set out to do, they would 
have been of no more consequence in comparison, 
with our black-browed friend down yonder than — i 
than my head is of consequence in comparison with 
the moon." 



THE MOON METAL' 



339 



"I fear you flatter the man in the moon," wag my; to outdo others had not blinded me, I should have 

laughing reply. known that he would see us going up this side of 

"No, I don't," returned Hall, "and some day you'll the peak, particularly with the balloon to give us 

admit it." away. However, what's done can't be undone. Ho 

"Well, what about that something that shines may not really suspect the truth, and if he does 

down there? You seem to see more in it than I he can't help himself, even though he is the richest 

can." 1 man in the world," 



Dr. Syx Is Suspicious About the Climb to the Summit 

** | A TJT my companion had fallen into a reverie 

r\ and didn't hear my question. He was gazing 

_I_J abstractedly at the faint image of the wan- 
dering moon, now nearing the mountain-top in the 
distance. Presently his mind seemed to return' 
to the old magnet, and he whirled about and glanced 
down at the Syx mill. The column of smoke was 
diminishing in volume, an indication that the en- 
gine was about to enjoy one of its periodical rests. 
The irregularity of these stoppages had always been 
a subject of remark among practical engineers. 
The hours of labor were exceedingly erratic, but the 
engine had never been known to work at night, ex- 
cept on one occasion, and then only for a few min- 
utes, when it was suddenly stopped on account of a 
fire. 

Just as Hall resumed his inspection two huge 
quarter spheres, which had been resting wide apart 
on the roof, moved towards one another until their 
arched sections met over the circular aperture which 
they covered like the dome of an observatory. 

"I expected it," Hall remarked. "But come, it is 
mid-afternoon, and we shall need all of our time 
to get safely down before the light fades." 

Dr. Syx Speaks to Them 

' """A ^ * * iave a ' rea ^ y explained, it would not have 

Zl been possible for ub to return the way we 
.1. JL. came. We determined to descend the com- 
paratively easy western slopes of the peak, and pass 
the night on that side of the mountain. Letting our- 
selves down with the rope into the hollow way that 
divides the summit of the Teton into two pinnacles, 
we had no difficulty in descending by the route fol- 
lowed by all previous climbers. The weather was fine, 
and, having found good shelter among the rocks, 
we passed the night in comfort. The next day 
we succeeded in swinging round upon the eastern 
flank of the Teton, below the more formidable cliffs, 
and, just at nightfall, we arrived at the station. 
Aa we passed the Syx mine the doctor himself con- 
fronted us. There was a very displeasing look on 
his dark countenance, and his sneer was strongly 
marked. 

"So you have been on top of the Teton?" he said. 

"Yes," replied Hall, very blandly, "and if you 
have a taste for that sort of thing I should advise 
you to go up. The view is immense, as fine as the 
best in the Alps." 

"Pretty ingenious plan, that balloon of yours," 
continued the doctor, still looking black. 

"Thank you," Hall replied, more suavely than 
ever. "I've been planning that a long time. You 
probably don't know that mountaineering used to 
be my chief amusement." 

The doctor turned away without pursuing the 
conversation. 

"I could kick myself," Hall muttered as soon as 
Dr. Syx was out of earshot, "If my absurd wish 



"A* 



Strange Fate of a Kite 

KB you ready for another tramp?" was 
Andrew Hall's greeting when we met 
early on the morning following our return 
from the peak. 

"Certainly I ara Wi [What is your programme for 
to-day?" 

"I wish to test the flying qualities of a kite which 
I have constructed since our return last night." 

"You don't allow the calls of sleep to interfere 
very much with your activity." 

"I haven't much time for sleep just now," replied 
Hall, without smiling. "The kite test will carry us 
up the flanks of the Teton, but I am not going to 
try for the top this time. If you will come along 
I'll ask you to help me by carrying and operating a 
light transit. I shall carry another myself. I am 
desirous to get the elevation that the kite attains 
and certain other data that will be of use to me. 
We will make a detour towards the south, for I don't 
want old Syx's suspicions to be prodded any more." 

"What interest can he have in your kite-flying?" 

"The same interest that a burglar has in the rap 
of a policeman's night-stick." 

"Then your experiment to-day has some connec- 
tion with the solution of the great mystery?" 

"My dear fellow," said Hall, laying his hand on 
my shoulder, "until I see the end of that mystery I 
shall think of nothing else." 

In a few hours we were clambering over the 
broken rocks on the southeastern flank of the Teton 
at an elevation of about three thousand feet above 
the level of Jackson's Hole. Finally Hall paused and 
began to put his kite together. It was a small box- 
shaped affair, very light in construction, with paper 
sides. 

"In order to diminish the chances of Dr. Syx 
noticing what we are about," he said, as he worked 
away, "I have covered the kite with sky-blue paper. 
This, together with distance, will probably insure 
us against his notice." 

In a few minutes the kite was ready. Having 
ascertained the direction of the wind with much 
attention, he stationed me with my transit on a 
commanding rock, and sought another post for him- 
self at a distance of two hundred yards, which he 
carefully measured with a gold tape. My instruc- 
tions were to keep the telescope on the kite as soon 
as it had attained a considerable height, and to 
note the angle of elevation and the horizontal angle 
with the base line joining our point3 of observation. 

"Be particularly careful," was Hall's injunction, 
"and if anything happens to the kite by all means 
note the angles at that instant." 

As soon as we had fixed our stations Hall began 
to pay out the string, and the kite rose very swiftly. 
As it sped away into the blue it was soon practi- 
cally invisible to the naked eye, although the tele- 
scope of the transit enabled me to follow it with 



340 



AMAZING STORIES 



l Aerial Trigonometry — Hall Reticent 

GLANCING across now and then at my com- 
panion, I noticed that he was having con- 
siderable difficulty in, at the same time, man- 
aging the kite and manipulating his transit. But 
as the kite continued to rise and steadied in posi- 
tion his task became easier, until at length he 
ceased to remove his eye from the telescope while 
holding the string with outstretched hand. 

"Don't lose sight of it now for an instant!" he 
shouted. 

For at least half an hour he continued to manipu- 
late the string, sending the kite now high towards 
the zenith with a sudden pull, and then letting it 
drift off. It seemed at last to become almost a fixed 
point. Very slowly the angles changed, when, sud 1 
denly, there was a flash, and to my amazement I saw 
the paper of the kite shrivel and disappear in 
a momentary flame, and then the bare sticks came 
tumbling out of the sky. 

"Did you get the angles?" yelled Hall, excitedly. 

"Yes; the telescope is still pointed on the spot 
where the kite disappeared." 

"Read them off," he ealled, "and then get your 
angle with Syx works." 

"All right," I replied, doing as he had requested, 
and noticing at the same time that he was in the 
act of putting his watch in his pocket. "Is there 
anything else?" I asked. 

"No, that will do, thank you." 

Hall came running over, his face beaming, and 
with the air of a man who has just hooked a par- 
ticularly cunning old trout. 

"Ah !" he exclaimed, "this has been a great suc- 
cess ! I could almost dispense with the calculation, 
but it is best to be sure." 

"What are you about, anyhow?" I asked, "and 
what was it that happened to the kite?" 

"Don't interrupt me just now, please," was the 
only reply I received. 

Mr. Hall Decides to Try Alchemy Too 

THEREUPON my friend sat down on a rock, 
pulled out a pad of paper, npted the angles 
which I had read on the transit, and fell to 
figuring with feverish haste. In the course of his 
work he consulted a pocket almanac, then glanced up 
at the sky, muttered approvingly, and finally leaped 
to his feet with a half -suppressed "Hurrah!" If I 
had not known him so well I should have thought 
that he had gone daft. 

"Will you kindly tell me," I asked, "how you 
managed to set the kite afire?" 

Hall laughed heartily. "You thought it was a 
trick, did you?" said he. "Well, it was no trick, 
but a very beautiful demonstration. You surely 
haven't forgotten the scarlet tanager that gave you 
such a surprise the day before yesterday." 

"Do you mean," I exclaimed, startled at the sug- 
gestion, "that the fate of the bird had any connec- 
tion with the accident to your kite?" 

"Accident isn't precisely the right word," replied 
Hall. "The two things are as intimately related 
=3.3 own brothers. If you should care to hunt up 
the kite sticks, you would find that they, too, are 
now artemisium plated." 

"This is getting too deep for me," was all that 
J could say. 



"I am not absolutely confident that I .have 
touched bottom myself," said Hall, "but I'm going 
to make another dive, and if I don't bring up treas- 
ures greater than Vanderdeeken found at the bot- 
tom of the sea, then Dr. Syx is even a more won- 
derful human mystery than I have thought him to 
be." 

"What do you propose to do' next?" 

"To shake the dust of the Grand Teton from my 
shoes and go to San Francisco, where I have an 
extensive laboratory." 

"So you are going to try a little alchemy your- 
self, are you?" 

"Perhaps; who knows? At any rate, my good 
friend, I am forever indebted to you for your 
assistance, and even more for your discretion, and 
if I succeed you shall be the first person in the 
world to hear the news." 

CHAPTER X 
Better Than Alchemy 

I COME now to a part of my narrative which 
would have been deemed altogether incredible 
in those closing years of the nineteenth cen- 
tury that witnessed the first steps towards the 
solution of the deepest mysteries of the ether, al- 
though men even then held in their hands, without 
knowing it, powers which, after they had been 
mastered and before use had made them familiar, 
seemed no less than godlike. 

For six months after Hall's departure for San 
Francisco I heard nothing from him. Notwith- 
standing my intense desire to know what he was 
doing, I did not seek to disturb him in his retire- 
ment. In the meantime things ran on as usual in 
the world, only a ripple being caused by renewed 
discoveries of small nuggets of artemisium on the 
Tetons, a fact which recalled to my mind the re- 
mark of my friend when he dislodged a flake of the, 
metal from a crevice during our ascent of the peak. 
At last one day I received this telegram at my 
office in New York : 

"San Francisco, May 16, 1940. 

"Come at once. The mystery is solved. 

"(Signed) Hall." 

As soon as I eould pack a grip I was flying west- 
ward one hundred miles an hour. On reaching San 
Francisco, which had made enoromus strides since 
the opening of the twentieth century, owing to the 
extension of our Oriental possessions, and which 
already ranked with New York and Chicago among 
the financial capitals of the world, I hastened to 
Hall's laboratory. He was there expecting me, and, 
after a hearty greeting, during which his elation 
over his success was manifest, he said : 

"I am compelled to ask you to make a little jour- 
ney. I found it impossible to secure the necessary 
privacy here, and, before opening my experiments, 
I selected a site for a new laboratory in an unfre- 
quented spot among the mountains this side of. 
Lake Tahoe. You will be the first man, with the 
exception of my two devoted assistants, to see my 
apparatus, and you shall share the sensation of the 
critical experiment." 

"Then you have not yet completed your solution 
of the secret ?" 

"Yes, I have; for I am as certain of the result 



THE MOON METAL 



341 



as if I had seen it, but I thought you were entitled 
to be in with me at the death." 

A Visit to the Hall Laboratory. Experimenting With 
a Gold Cathode 

FROM the nearest railway station we took 
horses to the laboratory, which occupied a 
secluded but most beautiful site at an eleva- 
tion of about six thousand feet above sea-level. 
With considerable surprise I noticed a building sur- 
mounted with a dome, recalling what we had seen 
from the Grand Teton on the roof of Dr. Syx's mill. 
Hail, observing my look, smiled significantly, but 
said nothing. The laboratory proper occupied a 
smaller building adjoining the domed structure. 
Hall led the way into an apartment having but a 
single door and illuminated by a skylight. 

"This is my sanctum sanctorum," he said, "and 
you are the first outsider to enter it. Seat yourself 
comfortably while I proceed to unveil a little cor- 
ner of the artemisium mystery." 

Near one end of the room, which was about 
thirty feet in length, was a table, on which lay a 
glass tube about two inches in diameter and thirty 
inches long. In the farther end of the tube gleamed 
a lump of yellow metal, which I took to be gold. 
Hall and I were seated near another table about 
twenty-five feet distant from the tube, and on 
this table was an apparatus finished with a con- 
cave mirror, whose optical axis was directed towards 
the tube. It occurred to me at once that this ap- 
paratus would be suitable for experimenting with 
electric waves. Wires ran from it to the floor, and 
in the cellar beneath was audible the beating of 
an engine. My companion made an adjustment or 
" twq, and then remarked: 

"Now, keep your eyes on the lump of gold in 
the farther end of the tube yonder. The tube is 
exhausted of air, and I am about to concentrate 
upon the gold an intense electric influence, which 
will have the effect of making it a kind of cathode 
pole. I only use this term for the sake of illus- 
tration. You will recall that as long ago as the 
days of Crookes it was known that a cathode in an 
exhausted tube would proj'ect partieles, or atoms, of 
its substance away in straight lines. Now watch!" 

I fixed my attention upon the gold, and presently 
saw it enveloped in a most beautiful violet light. 
This grew more intense, until, at times, it was 
blinding, while, at the same moment, the interior 
of the tube seemed to have become charged with a 
luminous vapor of a delicate pinkish hue. 

"Watch! Watch!" said Hall. "Look at the nearer 
end of the tube!" 

"Why, it's becoming coated with gold!" I ex- 
claimed. 

Continuation of the Experiment 

HE smiled, but made no reply. Still the 
strange process continued. The pink vapor 
became so dense that the lump of gold was 
no longer visible, although the eye of violet light 
glared piercingly through the colored fog. Every 
second the deposit of metal, shining like a mirror, 
increased, until suddenly there came a curious 
whistling sound. Hall, who had been adjusting 
the mirror, jerked away his hand and gave it a 
Sip, as if hot water had scattered it, and then thp 



light in the tube quickly died away, the vapor 
escaped, filling the room with a peculiar stim- 
ulating odor, and I perceived that the end of the 
glass tube had been melted through, and the molten 
gold was slowly dripping from it. 

"I carried it a little too far," said Hall, ruefully 
rubbing the hack of his hand, "and when the glass 
gave way under the atomic bombardment a few 
atoms of gold visited my bones. But there is no 
harm done. You observed that the instant the air 
reached the cathode, as I for convenience call the 
electrified mass of gold, the action ceased." 

"But your anode, to continue your simile," I said, 
"is constantly exposed to the air." 

"True," he replied, "but in the first place, of 
course, this is not really an anode, j'ust as the other 
is not really a cathode. As science advances we 
are compelled, for a time, to use old terms in a 
new sense until a fresh nomenclature can be in- 
vented. But we are now dealing with a form of 
electric action more subtile in its effects than any 
at present described in the text-books and the tran- 
sactions of learned societies. I have not yet even 
attempted to work out the theory of it. I am only 
concerned with its facts." 

"But wonderful as the exhibition you have given 
is, I do not see," I said, "how it concerns Dr. Syx 
and his artemisium." 

"Listen," replied Hall, settling back in his chair 
after disconnecting his apparatus. "You no doubt 
have been told how one night the Syx engine was 
heard working for a few minutes, the first and only 
night work it was ever known to have done, and 
how, hardly had it started up when a fire broke out 
in the mill, and the engine was instantly stopped. 
Now there is a very remarkable story connected with 
that, and it will show you how I got my first clew 
to the mystery, although it was rather a mere sus- 
picion than a clew, for at first I could make nothing 
out of it. The alleged fire occurred about a fort- 
night after our discovery of the double tunnel. 
My mind was then full of suspicions concerning 
Syx, because I thought that a man who would fool 
people with one hand was not likely to deal fairly 
with the other. 

The Suspicious Actions of Dr. Syx Explained 
«TT was a glorious night, with a full moon, 
1 whose face was so clear in the limpid air that, 

A. having found a snug place at the foot of a yel- 
low-pine-tree, where the ground was carpeted with 
odiferous needles, I lay on my back and renewed my 
early acquaintance with the romantically named 
mountains and 'seas' of the Lunar globe. With my 
binocular I could trace those long white streaks 
which radiate from the crater ring, called 'Tycho,' 
and run hundreds of miles in all directions over the 
moon. As I gazed at these singular objects I re- 
called the various theories which astronomers, 
puzzled by their enigmatical aspects, have offered 
to a more or less confiding public concerning them. 

"In the midst of my meditation and moon gazing 
I was startled by hearing the engine in the Syx 
works suddenly begin to run. Immediately a queer 
light, shaped like the beam of a ship's searchlight, 
but reddish in color, rose high in the moonlit heav- 
ens above the mill. It did not last more than a 
minute or two, for almost instantly the engine was 



342 



AMAZING STORIES 



stopped, and with its stoppage the light faded and 
soon disappeared. The next day Dr. Syx gave it 
out that on starting up his engine in the night 
something had caught fire, which compelled him im- 
mediately to shut down again. The few who had 
seen the light, with the exception of your humble 
servant, accepted the doctor's explanation without 
a question. But I knew there had been no fire, and 
Syx's anxiety to spread the lie led me to believe 
that he had narrowly escaped giving away a vital 
secret. I said nothing about my suspicions, but 
upon inquiry I found out that an extra and pressing 
order for metal had arrived from the Austrian 
government the very day of the pretended fire, and 
I drew the inference that Syx, in his haste to fill 
the order — hi3 supply having been drawn low — had 
started to work, contrary to his custom, at night, 
and had immediately found reason to repent his 
rashness. Of course, I connected the strange light 
with this sudden change of mind. 

"My suspicions having been thus stimulated, and 
having been directed in a certain way, I began, 
from that moment to notiee closely the hours dur- 
ing which the engine labored. At night it was 
always quiet, except on that one brief occasion. 
Sometimes it began early in the morning and stop- 
ped about noon. At other times the work was done 
entirely in the afternoon, beginning sometimes as 
late as three or four o'clock, and ceasing invariably 
at sundown. Then again it would start at sunrise 
and continue the whole day through. 

"For a long time I was unable to account for 
these eccentricities, and the problem was not rend- 
ered much clearer, although a startling suggestive- 
ness was added to it, when, at length, I noticed that 
the periods of activity of the engine had a definite 
relation to the age of the moon. Then I discovered, 
with the aid of an almanac, that I could predict the 
hours when the engine would be busy. At the time 
of new moon it worked all day; at full moon, it was 
idle ; between full moon and last quarter, it labored 
in the forenoon, the length of its working hours in- 
creasing as the quarter was approached; between 
last quarter and new moon, the hours of work 
lengthened, until, as I have said, at new moon they 
lasted alj day; between new moon and first quar- 
ter, work began later and later in the forenoon 
as the quarter was approached, and between first 
quarter and full moon the laboring hours rapidly 
shortened, being confined to the latter part of the 
afternoon, until at full moon complete silence 
reigned in the mill" 

The Moon Is Concerned in Dr. Syx's Mystery 
"TT TELL! well!" I broke in, greatly astonished 

%/■/ hy Hall's singular recital, "you must 
T T have thought Dr. Syx was a cross between 
an alchemist and an astrologer." 

"Note this," said Hall, disregarding my interrup- 
tion, "the hours when the engine worked were in- 
variably the hours during which the moon wa3 
above the horizon!" 

"What did you infer from that?" 

"Of course, I inferred that the moon was directly 
concerned in the mystery; but how? That bothered 
me for a long time, but a little light broke into my 
mind when I picked up, on the mountain-side, a 
dead bird, whose scorched feathers were bronzed 



with artemi3ium, and sometime later another simi- 
lar victim of a mysterious form of death. Then 
came the attack on the mine and its tragic finish. 
I have already told you what I observed on that 
occasion. But, instead of helping to clear up the 
mystery, it rather complicated it for a time,. At 
length, however, I reasoned my way partly out of 
the difficulty. Certain things which I had noticed 
in the Syx mill convinced me that there was a part 
of the building whose existence no visitor suspected^ 
and, putting one thing with another, I inferred that 
the roof must be open above that secret part of 
the structure, and that if I could get upon a suffi- 
ciently elevated place I could see something of what 
was hidden there. 

"At this point in the investigation I proposed to 
you the trip to the top of the Teton, the result of 
which you remember. I had calculated the angles 
with great care, and I felt certain that from the 
apex of the mountain I should be able to get a 
view into the concealed chamber, and into just that 
side of it which I wished particularly to inspect. 
You remember that I called your attention to a 
shining object underneath the circular opening in 
the roof. You could not make out what it was, 
but I saw enough to convince me that it was a gigan- 
tic parabolic mirror. I'll show you a smaller one of 
the same kind presently. 

"Now, at last, I began to perceive the real truth, 
but it was so wildly incredible, so infinitely remote 
from all human experience, that I hardly ventured to 
formulate it, even in my own secret mind. But 
I was bound to see the thing through to the end. 
It occurred to me that I could prove the accuracy 
of my theory with the aid of a kite. You were kind 
enough to lend your assistance in that experiment, 
and it gave toe irrefragable evidence of the exist- 
ence of a shaft of flying atoms extending in a direct 
line between Dr. Syx's pretended mine and the 
moon !" 

"Hall!" I exclaimed, "you are mad!" 

My friend smiled good-naturedly, and went on 
with his story. 

Why the Kite Was Earned 

THE instant the kite shrivelled and disap- 
peared I understood why the works were 
idle when the moon was not above the hori- 
zon, why birds flying across that fatal beam fell 
dead upon the rocks, and whence the terrible master 
of that mystery mill derived the power of destruc- 
tion that could wither an army as the Assyrian host 
in Byron'3 poem: 

"Melted like snow in the glance of the Lord." 

"But how did Dr. Syx turn the. flying atoms 
against his enemies?" I asked. 

"In a very simple manner. He had a mirror 
mounted so that it could be turned in any direction, 
and would shunt the stream of metallic atoms, 
heated by their friction with the air, towards any 
desired point. When the attack came he raised thia 
machine above the level of the roof and swept the 
mob to a lustrous, if expensive, death." 

"And the light at night—" 

"Was the shining of the heated atoms, not lumin- 
ous enough to be visible in broad day, for which 
reason the engine never worked at night, and the 



.THE MOON METAL 



343 



stream of volatized artemisium was never set flow- 
ing at full moon, when the lunar globe is above the 
horizon only during the hours of darkness." 

"I see," I said, "whence eame the nuggets on the 
mountain. Some of the atoms, owing to the resist- 
ance of the air, fell short and settled in the form of 
impalpable dust until the winds and rains collected 
and compacted them in the. cracks and crevices of 
the roeks." 

"That was it, of course." 

"And now," I added, my amazement at the suc- 
cess of Hall's experiments and the accuracy of Mb 
deductions increasing every moment, "do you say 
that you have also discovered the means employed 
by Dr. Syx to obtain artemisium from the moon?" 

"Not only that," replied my friend, "but within 
the next few minute3 I shall have the pleasure of 
presenting to you a button of moon metal, fresh 



from the ^ 



3 of Artemis herself." 



CHAPTER XI 

The Looting ot the Moon 
•'TTSHALL spare the reader a recital of tireless 

I efforts, continuing through many almost sleep- 

JL less weeks, whereby Andrew Hall obtained his 
clew to Dr. Syx's method. It was manifest from 
the beginning that the agent concerned must be 
some form of etheric, or so-called electric energy; 
but how to set it in operation was the problem. 
Finally he hit upon the apparatus for his initial 
experiments which I have already described. 

"Recurring to what had been done more than 
half a century ago by Hertz, when he concentrated 
electric waves upon a focal point by means of a 
concave mirror," said Hall, "I saw that the key 
1 wanted lay in an extension of these experiments. 
At, last I found that I could transform the energy 
of an engine into undulations of the ether, which, 
when they had been concentrated upon a metallic 
object, like a chunk of gold, imparted to it an in- 
tense charge of an apparently electric nature. Upon 
thus charging a metallic body enclosed In a vacuum, 
I observed that the energy imparted to it possessed 
the remarkable power of disrupting its atoms and 
projecting them off in straight lines, very much as 
occurs with a cathode in a Crookes's tube. But — 
and this was of supreme importance — I found that 
the line of projection was directly towards the appa- 
ratus from which the impulse producing the charge 
had come. In other words, I could produce two poles 
between which a marvellous interaction occurred. 
My transformer, with its concentrating mirror, 
acted as one pole, from which energy was trans- 
ferred to the other pole, and that other pole im- 
mediately flung off atoms of its own substance in 
the direction of the transformer. But these atoms 
were stopped by the glass wall of the vacuum tube; 
and when I tried the experiment with the metal 
removed from the vacuum, and surrounded with air, 
it failed utterly. 

"This at first completely discouraged me, until 
I suddenly remembered that the moon is in a 
vacuum, the great vacuum of interplanetary space, 
and that it possesses no perceptible atmosphere of 
its own. At this a great light broke around me, and 
I shouted 'Eureka!' [Without hesitation I construct- 
ed a transformer of great power, furnished with a' 



large parabolic mirror to transmit the waves in' 
parallel lines, erected the machinery and buildings 
here, and when all was ready for the final experi- 
ment I telegraphed for you," 

Details o£ Hall's Experiments 

PBEPAEED by these explanations I was all on 
fire to see the thing tried. Hall was no less 
eager, and, calling in his two faithful assist- 
ants to make the final adjustments, he led the way 
into what he facetiously named "the lunar chamber." 

"If we fail," he remarked with a smile that had 
an element of worriment in it, "it will become the 
'lunatic chamber'— but no danger of that. You ob- 
serve this polished silver knob, suported by a metal- 
lic rod curved over at the top like a crane. 
That constitutes the pole from which I propose 
to transmit the energy to the moon, and upon which 
I expect the storm of atoms to be centred by reflec- 
tion from the mirror at whose focus it is placed." 

"One moment," I said. "Am I to understand that 
you think that the moon i3 a solid mas3 of artemi- 
sium, and that no matter where your radiant force 
strikes it a 'cathodic pole' will be formed there from 
which atoms will be projected to the earth?" 

"No," said Hall, "I must carefully choose the 
point on the lunar surface where to operate. But 
that will present no difficulty. I made up my mind 
as soon as I had penetrated Syx's secret that he 
obtained the metal from those mystic white streaks 
whieh radiate from Tycho, and which have puzzled 
the astronomers ever since the invention of tele- 
scopes. I now believe those streaks to be composed 
of immense veins of the metal that Syx has most 
appropriately named artemisium, which you, of 
course, recognize as being derived from the name 
of the Greek goddess of the moon, Artemis, whom 
the Romans called Diana. But now to work!" 

It was less than a day past the time of new moon, 
and the earth's satellite was too near the sun to be 
visible in broad daylight. Accordingly, the mirror 
had to be directed by means of knowledge of the 
moon's place in the sky. Driven by accurate clock- 
work, it could be depended upon to retain the proper 
direction when once set. 

With breathless interest I watched the proceed- 
ings of my friend and his assistants. The strain 
upon the nerves of all of us was such as could 
not have been borne for many hours at a stretch. 
When everything had been adjusted to his satis- 
faction, Hall stepped back, not without betraying 
his excitement in flushed cheeks and flashing eyes, 
and pressed a lever. The powerful engine under- 
neath the floor instantly responded. The experi- 
ment was begun. 

"I have set it upon a point about a hundred miles 
north of Tycho, where the Yerkes photographs show 
a great abundance of the white substance," said 
Hall. 

Then he waited. A minute elapsed. A bird, 
fluttering in the opening above, for a second or 
two, wrenched our strained nerves. Hall's face 
turned pale. 

"They had better keep away from here," he whis- 
pered, with a ghastly smile. 

Two minutes! I could hear the beating of my 
heart. The engine shook'" the floor. 

Three" minutes ! Hall's face Was wet with perspi- 



AMAZING STORIES 



ration. The bird blundered in and startled u3 
again. 

Hall Produces Artemisium On a Small Scale 

FOUR minutes! We were like statues, with all 
eyes fixed on the polished ball of silver, which 
shone in the brilliant light concentrated upon 
it by the mirror. 

Five minutes! The shining ball had become a 
confused blue, and I violently winked to clear my 
vision, 

"At last! Thank God! Look! There it 13!" 

It was Hall who spoke, trembling like an aspen. 
The silver knob had changed color. What seemed 
a miniature rainbow surrounded it with concentric 
circles of blinding brilliance. 

Then something dropped flashing into an earthen 
dish set beneath the ball ! Another glittering drop 
followed, and, at a shorter interval, another! 

Almost before a word could be uttered the drops 
had coalesced and become a tiny stream, which, as 
it fell, twisted itself into a bright spiral, gleaming 
with a hundred shifting hues, and forming on the 
bottom of the dish a glowing, interlacing maze of 
viscid rings and circlets, which turned and twined 
about and over one another, until they had blended 
and settled into a button-shaped mass of hot metal- 
lic jelly. Hall snatched the dish away, and placed 
another in its stead. 

"This will be about right for a watch charm when 
it cools," he said, with a return to his customary 
self-command. "I promised you the first specimen. 
I'll catch another for myself." 

"But can it be possible that we are not dream- 
ing?" I exclaimed. "Do you really believe that this 
comes from the moon?" 

"Just as surely as rain comes from the clouds," 
cried HaU, with all his old impatience. "Haven't I 
just showed you the whole process?" 

"Then I congratulate you. You will be as rich as 
Dr. Syx." 

"Perhaps," was the unperturbed reply, "but not 
until I have enlarged my apparatus. At present I 
shall hardly do more than supply mementoes to my 
friends. But since the principle is established, the 
rest is mere detail." 

Six weeks later the financial centres of the earth 
were shaken by the news that a new supply of arte- 
misium was being marketed from a mill which had 
been secretly opened in the Sierras of California. 
For a time there was almost a panic. If 
Hall had chosen to do so, he might have precipi- 
tated serious trouble. But he immediately entered 
into negotiations with government representatives, 
and the inevitable result was that, to preserve the 
monetary system of the world from upheaval, Dr. 
Syx had to consent that Hall's mill should share 
equally with his in the production of artemisium. 
During the negotiations the doctor paid a visit to 
Hall's establishment. The meeting between them 
was most dramatic. Syx tried to blast his rival 
with a glance, but knowledge is power, and my 
friend faced hi3 mysterious antagonist, whose deep- 
est secrets he had penetrated, with an unflinching 
eye. It was remarked that Dr. Syx became a 
changed man from that moment. His masterful 
air seemed to have deserted him, and it was with 



something resembling humility that he assented to 
the arrangement which required him to share hi3 
enormous gains with his conqueror. 

The Syx Mill Is Blown Up 

OF course, Hall'3 success led to an immedi- 
ate recrudescence of the efforts to extract 
artemisium from the Syx ore, and, equally 
of course, every such attempt failed. Hall, while 
keeping his own secret, did all he could to discour- 
age the experiments, but they naturally believed 
that he must have made the very discovery which 
was the subject of their dreams, and he could not 
without betraying himself, and upsetting the finan- 
ces of the planet, directly undeceive them. The con- 
sequence was that fortunes were wasted in hopeless 
experimentation, and, with Hall's achievement daz- 
zling their eyes, the deluded fortune-seekers kept 
on in the face of endless disappointments and dis- 
aster. , '„V . 

And presently there came another tragedy. The 
Syx mill was blown upl The accident— although 
many people refused to regard it as an accident, 
and asserted that the doctor himself, in his chagrin, 
had applied the match— the explosion, then, occur- 
red about sundown, and its effects were awful. The 
great works, with everything pertaining to them, 
and every rail that they contained, were blown to 
atoms. They disappeared as if they had never 
existed. Even the twin tunnels were involved in 
the ruin, a vast cavity being left in the mountain- 
side where Syx's ten acres had been. The force 
of the explosion was so great that the shattered rock 
was reduced to dust. To this fact was owing the 
escape of the troops camped near. While the moun- 
tain was shaking to its core, and enormous para- 
pets of living rock were hurled down the precipices 
of the Teton, no missiles of appreciable size tra- 
versed the air, and not a man at the camp was 
injured. 

But Jackson's Hole, filled with red dust, 
looked for days afterwards like the mouth of a 
tremendous volcano just after an eruption. Dr. 
Syx had been seen entering the mill a few minute3 
before the catastrophe by a sentinel who was sta- 
tioned about a quarter of a mile away, and who, 
although he was felled like an ox by the shock, 
and had his eyes, ears, and nostrils filied with 
flying dust, miraculously escaped with his life. 

After this a new arrangement was made whereby 
Andrew Hall became the sole producer of artemisi- 
um, and his wealth began to mount by leaps of mil- 
lions toward the starry heights of the billions. 

About a year after the explosion of the Syx mill a 
strange rumor got about. It came first from Buda- 
pest, in Hungary, where it was averred several per- 
sons of credibility had seen Dr. Max Syx. Millions 
had been familiar with his face and his personal 
peculiarities, through actually meeting him, as well 
as through photographs and descriptions, and, un- 
less there was an intention to deceive, it did not 
seem possible that a mistake could be made in iden- 
tification. 

There surely never was another man who looked 
just like Dr. Syx. And, besides, was it not general- 
ly known that he must have perished in the awful 
destruction of his mill? 



THE MOON METAL 



345 



The Secret of Producing Artemisium. Becomes 
Public Property 
■<jOON after came a report that Dr. Syx had 
in seen again ; this time at Ekaterinburg, in 
' the Urals. Next he was said to have paid a 
visit to Batang, in the mountainous district of 
southwestern China, and finally, according to ru- 
mor, he was seen in Sicily, at Nicolosi, among the 
volcanic pimples on the southern slope of Mount 
Etna. 

Next followed something of more curious and even 
startling interest. A chemist at Budapest, where 
the first rumors of Syx's reappearance had placed 
the mysterious doctor, announced that he could pro- 
duce artemisium, and proved it, although he kept his 
process secret. ' Hardly had the sensation caused by 
this news partially subsided when p similar report 
arrived from Ekaterinburg ; then another from Ba- 
tang; after that a fourth from Nicolosi! 

Nobody could fail to notice the coincidence; 
wherever the doctor— or was it his ghost? — appear- 
ed, there, shortly afterwards, somebody discovered 
the much-sought secret. 

After Syx's apparitions rapidly increased in fre- 
quency, followed in each instance by the announce- 
ment of another productive artemisium mill. He 
appeared in Germany, Italy, France, England, and 
finally at many places in the United States. 

"It is the old doctor's revenge," said Hall to me 
. one day, trying to smile, although the matter was 
too serious to be taken humorously. "Yes, it is his 
revenge, and I must admit that it is complete. The 
price of artemisium has fallen one-half 1 within six 
months. All the efforts we have made to hold back 
the floor have proved useless. The secret itself is 
becoming public property. We shall inevitably be 
overwhelmed with artemisium, just as we were with 
gold, and the last condition of the financial world 
will be worse than the first." ... 

My friend's gloomy prognostications came near 
being fulfilled to the letter. Ten thousand artemisi- 
um mills shot their etherie rays upon the moon, and 
our unfortunate satellite's metal ribs were stripped 
by atomic force. Some of the great white rays that 
had been one of the telescopic wonders of the lunar 
landscapes disappeared, and the face of the moon, 
which had remained unchanged before the eyes of 
the children of Adam from the beginning of their 
race, now looked as if the blast of a furnace had 
swept it. At night, on the moonward side, the 
earth was studded with brilliant spikes, all pointed 
at the heart of its child in the sky. 

But the looting of the moon brought disaster to 
the robber planet. So mad were the efforts to get 
the precious metal that the surface of our globe 
was fairly showered with it, productive fields were, 
in some cases, almost smothered under a metallic 
coating, the air was filled with shining dust, until 
finally famine and pestilence joined hands with fin- 
ancial disaster to punish the grasping world. 

Then, at last, the various governments took effec- 
tive measures to protect themselves and their people. 
Another combined effort resulted in an interna- 
tional agreement whereby the production of the 
precious moon metal was once more rigidly con- 
trolled. But the existence of a monopoly, such as 
Dr. Syx had so long enjoyed, and in the enjoyment 



Ml 



of which Andrew Hall had for a brief period suc- 
ceeded him, wa3 henceforth rendered impossible. 

CHAPTER XII 
The Last of Dr. Syx 
ANY years after the events last recorded I 
sat, at the close of a brilliant autumn day, 
ride by side with my old friend Andrew 
Hall, on a broad, vine-shaded piazza which faced 
the east, where the full moon was just rising above 
the rim of the Sierra, and replacing the rosy coun- 
ter-glow of sunset with its silvery radiance. The 
sight was calculated to carry the minds of both back 
to the events of former years. But I noticed that 
Hall quickly changed the position of his chair, and 
sat down again with his back to the rising moon. 
He had managed to save some .millions from the 
wreck of his vast fortune when artemisium started 
to go to the dogs, and I was now paying him one of 
my annual visits at his palatial home in California. 

"Did I ever tell you of my last trip to the Teton?" 
he asked, as I continued to gaze contemplatively at 
the broad lunar disk which slowly detached itself 
from the horizon and began to swim in the clear 
evening sky. 

"No," I "replied, '-but I should like to hear about 
it." 

"Or of my last sight of Dr. Syx?" 

"Indeed! 1 did not suppose that you ever saw him 
after that conference in your mill, when he had to 
surrender half of the world to you." 

"Once only I saw him again," said Hall, with a 
peculiar intonation. 

"Pray go ahead, and tell me the whole story." 

My friend lighted a fresh cigar, tipped his chair 
into a more comfortable position, and began: 

"It was about seven years ago. I had long felt 
an unconquerable desire to have another look at the 
Teton and the scenes amid which so many strange 
events in my life had occurred. I thought of send- 
ing for you to go with me, but I knew you were 
abroad much ofiyour time, and I could not be cer- 
tain of eatehing you. Finally I decided to go alone. 
I travelled on horseback by way of the Snake River 
canyon, and arrived early one morning in Jackson's 
Hole. I can tell you it was a gloomy place, as barren 
andedeserted as some of those Arabian wadies that 
you have been describing to me. The railroad had 
long ago been abandoned, and the site of the mili- 
tary camp could scarcely be recognized. An immense 
cavity with ragged walls showed where Dr. Syx's 
mill used to send up its plume of black smoke. 

"As I started up the gaunt form of the Teton, 
whose beetling precipices had been smashed and 
split by the great explosion, I was seized with a 
resistless impulse to climb it. I thought I should 
like to peer off again from that pinnacle wnich had 
once formed so fateful a watch-tower for me. Turn- 
ing my horse lgose to graze in the grassy river bot- 
tom, and carrying my rope tether along as a pos- 
sible aid in climbing, I set out for the ascent. I 
knew I could got get up the precipices on the east- 
ern side, which we were able to master with the 
aid of our balloon, and so I bore round, when I 
reached the steepest cliffs, until I was on the south- 
western side of the peak, where the climbing was 
easier. 

(Continued on page 381) 



yu EGGS^ LAKE TANGANYIKA 

3$tf Curt Siodmak '" 




THE EGGS FROM TAKE TANGANYIKA 



347 




gjROFESSOR Meyer-Maier drew a sharp 
He out of the cushion, carefully 
picked up with the pincers the fly lying 
in front of him and stuck it carefully 
upon a piece of white paper. He looked 
over the rim of his glasses, dipped his pen in the 
ink and wrote under the specimen: 

"Glossina palpalis, specimen from Tset3efly 
River. In the aboriginal language termed 
insi-rasi. Usually found on river courses 
and lakes in West Africa, Bearer of the 
malady Negana (Tse-tse siekness— sleep- 
ing sickness.) 
He laid down the pen and took up a powerful 
magnifying glass for a closer examination. "A hor- 
rible creature," he murmered, and shivered involun- 
tarily. On each Bide of the head of the flying 
horror, there was a monstrous eye surrounded by 
many sharp lashes and divided up into a hundred 
thousand flashing facets. An ugly proboscis thickly 
studded with curved barbs or hooka grew out of the 
lower side of the head. The wings were small and 
pointed, the legs armed with thorns, spines and 
claws. The thorax was muscular, like that of a 
prize fighter. The abdomen was thin and looked 
like India rubber. It could take in a great quantity 
of blood and expand like a balloon. On the whole, 
the flying horror, resembling a pre-historic flying 
dragon, was not very pleasant looking — Prof. 
Meyer-Maier took a pin and transfixed the body of 
the fly. It seemed to him that a vicious sheen of 
light emanated from the eyes and that the probos- 
cis rolled up. Quickly he picked up the magnifying 
glass, but it was an optical illusion — the thing was 
dead, with all its poison still within its body* 

Memories of the Expedition to Africa 

WITH & deep sigh he laid aside pincers and 
magnifying glass and sank into a deep re- 
verie. The clock struck 12, " 4-2-S-4-5, 
counted Professor Meyer-Maier, 

In Udjidji, a village on ^ a a ^ M- ^^^ M ^_^^_ 
lake Tanganyika, the na- 
tives had told him of gi- 
gantic flies inhabiting the 
interior further north. 
These monsters were 
three times as big as the 
giants composing the 
giant bodyguard of the 
Prince of Ssuggi, who all 
had to be of at least stand- 
ard height. Meyer-Maier 
laughed over this negro 

fable, but the negroes g :. - ■-, ■v--- : tc, .--- 
were obstinate. They 

refused to follow him to the northern part of 
Lake Tanganyika. Even Msu-uru, hi3 black .ser- 
vant, who otherwise made an intelligent impression, 
trembled with excitement and begged to be left out 
of the expedition— because there enormous flie3 and 
bees were to be found, — that let no man approach. 
They drank the river dry and guarded the valley of 
the elephants. "The Valley of the Elephants" was 
a fabled place where the old pachyderms withdrew 
to die. "It is inexplicable," soliloquized Meyer- 
Maier, "that no one evtr found a dead elephant." 
The clock struck 6- £-8, 



The natives had come along on the expedition 
much against their will. Meyer-Maier had trouble 
to keep the caravan mpving up to the day when he 
found four great, strange looking eggs, larger than 
ostrich eggs. The negroes were seized with a panic, 
half of them deserting in the night, in spite of the 
great distance from the coast. The other half 
could only be kept there by tremendous efforts. He 
had to make up his mind finally, to go back, but he 
secretly put the eggs he had found into his, camp- 
ing chest to solve their riddle. 

Now they were here in his Berlin home, in his 
work-room. He had not found time a3 yet to exam- 
ine them, for he had brought much material home to 
be worked over. 

The clock struck 9-10. 

Meyer-Maier kept thinking of the ugly head of the 
tse-tse fly that he had seen through the magnifying 
glass. A strange thought occurred to him and made 
him smile. Suppose the stories of the negroes were 
true and the giant flies — butterflies and beetles as 
big as elephants did exist! And suppose that they 
propagated as fliea do! — each one laying eighty 
million eggs a year ! He laughed aloud and pictured 
to himself how such a creature would stalk through 
the streets. 

A Strange Sound and the Hatching b£ Ari Egg 
E broke off suddenly, in the midst of hia 
laughter. A sound reached his ear, an 
earsplitting buzzing like that of a thousand 
flies, a deafening hum, as if a swarm of bees were 
entering the room; it burst out like a blast of wind 
through the room and then stopped. Meyer-Maier 
jerked the door open. Nothing. All wa3 quiet. 

"I must relax for a while," said he, and opened 
the window. He turned on the light and threw back 
the lid of the big chest, which contained the giant 
eggs. Suddenly he grew pale as death and staggered 
back. A creature was crawling out, a creature as 
big as a police dog — a frightful creature, with wings 
^^i^m^»— ^^— ^ ^ a muscular body, and 



H 



CT/'jS consider this extraordmary story a classic, and cer- 
" toady the best scientific Hon story so far for 1926. 

How large can insects //row? Is tkm uuy limit to their 
sise? Frankly, no one kiwius. Wc have almost micros- 
copically sjnall flies, and in some of the tropical countries 
tve have some almost as large as the Jist. Is it possible to 
have still larger flies, and could monstrous flies such as 
are depicted in Uiis story, be bred at some future datef 
The author of this brilliant tale evidently thinks so. 

Anyway, we trust he is Mistaken, as we should not like 
to meet such monsters. The science of entomology pre- 



, and will c 



( your 



six hairy legs with claws. 
It crept slowly, raised its 
incandescent head to the 
light and polished its 
wings with its hind legs. 
Faint with fright, Meyer- 
Maier pressed against the 
wall with outspread arms. 
A loud buzzing, — the 
creature swept across the 
room, climbed up on the 
window sill and was gone. 
-"" .-.'■■ .";">■ --.-- j Meyer-Maier came 

slowly to himself. "My 
nerves are deceiving me. Did I dream?" he whis- 
pered, and dragged himself to the camp-chest. But 
he became frozen with horror. One egg was broken 
open. "It breaks out of its shell like a chicken, it 
does not change into a chrysalis," he thought me- 
chanically. At last his mind cleared and he awoke to 
the emergency. He sprang to the desk, snatched up) 
his revolver, ran downstairs and out into the streets 
He saw no trace of the escaped giant insect. Meyer- 
Maier looked up at the lighted windows of his home, 
Suddenly the light became dim. "The other eggs" 
; — like a blow came the thought — "the other eggs too 



348 



AMAZING STORIES 



have broken." He raced back up the stairs. A deaf- 
ening buzzing filled the room. He jerked his door 
open and fired— once, twice, until the magazine was 
empty — the room was silent. Through the window 
he saw three silhouettes sweeping high across the 
night-sky and disappearing in the direction of the 
great woods in the West. In the chest there lay the 
four broken giant eggs 

A Call for His Colleague 

MEYER-MAIER sank upon a chair. "It's 
against all logic," he thought, and glanced 
at the empty revolver in bis hand. "My, 
delirium has taken wings and crawled out of the egg. 
What shall I do? Shall I call the police? They will 
send me to an alienist! Keep quiet about it? Look 
for the creatures ? I'll call up my colleague, Schmidt- 
Schmitt !" He dragged himself to the telephone and 
got a connection. Schmidt-Schmitt was at hornet 
"This is Meyer-Maier," sounded a tired voice. 
"Come over at oncel" 

"What's the trouble?" asked Schmidt-Schmitt. 

"My African giant eggs have burst," lisped 
Meyer-Maier with a failing voice. "You must come 
at once!" 

"Your nerves are out of order," answered 
Schmidt-Schmitt. Have you still got the creat- 
ures 1" 

"They've gone," whispered Meyer-Maier, — he 
thought he would collapse, — "flew out of the win- 
dow." , 

"There, there," laughed Schmidt-Schmitt. "Now, 
we are getting to the truth — of course they aren't 
there. Anyhow, I'll come over. Meanwhile take a 
cognac and put on a cold pack." 

"Take your car, and say nothing about what I 
told you." 

Professor Meyer-Maier . hung up the receiver. 

It was incredible. He pressed his hand to his 
forehead. If the empty shells were not irrefutable 
evidence, he would have been inclined to think of 
hallucinations. 

He helped himself to some brandy and after the 
second glass he felt better. "I wish Professor 
Schmidt-Schmitt would come. He ought to be here 
by now. He will have an explanation and will help 
me to get myself in band again. The day of ghosts 
and miracles is long past. But why isn't he here? 
He ought to have come by this time." 

Meyer-Maier looked out of the window. A car 
came tearing through the dark street and stopped 
with squeaking brakes in front of Meyer-Maier's 
residence. A form jumped out like an india rubber 
ball, ran up the steps, burst into Meyer-Maiers' 
study, and collapsed into a chair. 

"How awful," he gasped. 

"It seems to me, you are even more excited over 
it than I," said Professor Meyer-Maier dispiritedly 
while he watched his shaking friend. 

"Absolutely terrible" Professor Schmidt-Schmitt 
wiped his forehead with a silk handkerchief. "You 
were not suffering from nerves, you had no hallucin- 
ations. Just now I saw a fly-creature as large as a 
heifer falling upon a horse. The monster grew big 
and heavy, while the horse collapsed and the fly 
flew away. I examined the horse. Its veins and 
arteries were empty. Not a drop of blood was left 



in its body. The driver fainted with fright and 
has not come to yet. It is a world catastrophe." 

Notifying the Police 

"TT TE must notify the police at once." 

%A/ A quick telephone connection was ob- 
V T tained. The police Lieutenant in charge 
himself answered. 

"Thi3 is Professor Meyer-Maier talking! Please 
believe what I am going to tell you. I am neither 
drunk nor crazy. Four poisonous gigantic flies, as 
large as horses are at large in the city. They must 
be destroyed at all costs." 

"What are you trying to do? Kid me?" the lieu- 
tenant came back in an angry voice. 

"Believe me — for God's sake," yelled Meyer- 
Maier, reaching the end of hi3 nervous strength. 

"Hold the wire." The Lieutenant turned to the 
desk of the sergeant. 'TVhat is up now ?" 

"A cab driver has been here who says that his 
horse was killed by a gigantic bird on Karlstrasse." 

"Get the men of the second platoon ready for 
immediate action" he ordered the sergeant, and 
turned back to the telephone. "Hello Professor! 
Are you still there? Please come over as quickly as 
possible. What you told me is true. One of these 
giant insects has been seen." 

Professor Meyer-Maier hung up. He loaded hia 
revolver and put a Browning pistol into hi3 col- 
league's hand. "Is your car still downstairs?" 

"Yes I took the little limousine." 

"Excellent — then the monster cannot attack us." 
They rushed on through the night. 

"What can happen 1 now?" inquired Professor 
Schmidt-Sshmitt. 

"These giant flies may propagate and multiply in 
the manner of the housefly. And in that case, due to 
their strength and poisonous qualities" continued 
Professor Meyer-Maier, "the whole human race will 
perish in a few weeks. When they crept from the 
shell they were as large as dogs. They grew to the 
size of a horse within an hour. God knows what 
will happen next. Let us hope and pray that we will 
be able to find and kill the four flies and destroy 
the eggs which they have laid in the meantime, 
within fourteen days." 

The car came to a stop in front of the Police Sta- 
tion. A policeman armed with steel helmet and hand 
trench bombs swinging from bis belt tore open the 
limousine door. The lieutenant hastened out and 
conducted the scientists into the station house. 

"Any more news?" inquired Meyer-Maier. 

"The West Precinct station just called up. One 
of their patrolmen saw a giant animal fly over the 
Teutoburger Forest. Luckily we had war tanks 
near there which immediately set out in search of 
the creature." 

The telephone-bell rang. The lieutenant rushed 
to the phone. 

"Central Police Station." 

"East Station talking. Report come3 from Lake 
Wieler, that a gigantic fly has attacked two motor 
boats." 

"Put small trench mortars on the polioe-boat and 
go out on the lake. Shoot when the beast gets near 
you." 

The door of the Station-House opened and the 
city commissioner entered. "I have just heard some 



THE EGGS FROM LAKE TANGANYIKA 



349 



fabulous stories," he said, and approached the visi- 
tors. "Professor Meyer-Maier? Major Pritzel- 
Wilzell! Can you explain all this?" 

"I brought home with me four large eggs from my 
African expedition, for examination. Tonight these 
eggs broke open. Four great flies came out — a sort 
of tse-tse fly, such as is found on Lake Tanganyika, 
The creatures escaped through the ■window and we 
must make every endeavor to kill them at once." 

The telephone bell rang as if possessed. 

"This is the Central Broadcasting Station. A 
giant bird has been caught in the high voltage line3. 
It has fallen down and lies on the street." 

"Close the street at once." The major took up the 
instrument. "Call up the Second Company. Let all 
four flying companies go off with munition and gas- 
oline for three days. Come with me my friends, 
we will get at least one of them!" 

An armored automobile came tearing along at a 
frightful speed. "We appreciate your foresight, 
Major," said Meyer-Maier, as they stepped into the 
steel-armored machine. 

One of the Giant Flies Is Electrocuted 

ALTHOUGH it was five o'clock in the morn- 
ing, the square in front of the broadcasting 
station was black with people. The police 
kept a space clear in the center, where monstrously 
large and ugly, lay the dead giant fly. Its wings were 
burnt, its proboscis extended, while the legs, with 
their claws, were drawn up against the body. The 
abdomen was a great ball, full of bright red liquid. 
"That is certainly the creature that killed the 
horse," said Schmidt- Schimitt, and pointed at the 
thick abdomen. He then walked around the crea- 
ture. "Glossina pal-palis. A monstrous tse-tse fly." 

"Will you please send the monster to the zoological 
laboratory?" The major nodded assent. The fire- 
men, prepared for service, pushed poles tinder the 
insect and tried to lift it up from the ground. Out 
of the air came a droning sound. An airplane 
squadron dropped out of the clouds and again disap- 
peared. A bright body with vibrating wings flew 
across the sky. The airplanes dropped on it. The 
noise of the machine-guns started. The bright body 
fell in a spiral course to the ground. Crying and 
screaming, the people fled from the street and 
crowded into the houses. They couldn't tell where 
the insect would fall and they were afraid of their 
heads. The street was empty in an instant. The 
body of the monster fell directly in front of the 
armored car and lay there, stiff. In its fall it car- 
ried away a lot of aerial cable and now it lay on the 
pavement as if caught in a net, the head- torn by the 
machine gun bullets. It looked like a strange gleam- 
ing cactus. 

"Take me to my home, Major," groaned Meyer- 
Maier. "I can't stand it any longer. The excite- 
ment is too much for me." 

IS the Hospital 

THE armored car started noisily into motion. 
Meyer-Maier fell from the seat, senseless, up- 
on the floor of the tonneau. When he came to 
himself, he lay in a strange bed. His gaze fell upon 
a bell which swung to and fro above his face. In his 
head there was a humming like an airplane motor. 
He made no attempt, even to think. His finger 
pressed the push-button and he. never released it 



until half-a-dozen attendants came rushing into the 
room. One figure stood out in dark colors, in the 
group of while-clad interns. It was his colleague, 
Sehmidt-Schmitt. 

"You're awake?" said he, and stepped to his bed. 
"How are you feeling?" 

"My head is buzzkjf as if there were a swarm of 
hornets living in it. How many hours have I lain 
here ?" 

"Hours ?" Sehmidt-Schmitt dwelt upon the word. 
"Today is the fifteenth day that you are lying in 
Professor Stiebling's sanitorium. It was a difficult 
case. You always woke up at meal-time and without 
saying a word, went to sleep again." 

"Fifteen days!" cried Meyer-Maier excitedly. 
"And the insects? Have they been killed?" 

"I'll tell you the whole story when you are well 
again," said Sehmidt-Schmitt, quieting him. "Lie 
as you are, quietly — any excitement may hurt you." 

"They must not come into the room!" he screamed 
out to an excited messenger, who breathlessly pull- 
ed the door open. 

"Professor! — —"the man was in deadly fear 

: "the Central Police station has given out the 

news that a swarm of giant flies are descending up- 
on the city." 

"Barricade all windows at once!" 

"You wasted precious time," screamed Meyer- 
Maier, and jumped out of the bed. "Let me go to 
my house. I must solve the riddle as to how to get 
at the insects. Don't touch me," he raved. He 
snatched a coat from the rack, ran out of the house, 
and jumped into Sehmidt-Schmitt's automobile 
which stood at the gate, and went like the wind, to 
his home. The door of his house was ajar. He 
rushed up four flights and in delirious haste rushed 
into his workroom. The telephone bell rang. 

The Danger Is Over 

MEYER-MAIER snatched up the receiver. 
He got the consoling message from the 
city police-commissioner: "The danger is 
over, Professor. Our air-squadron has destroyed 
the swarm with a cloud of poison-gas. Only two of 
the insects escaped death. These we have caught in 
a net and are taking them to the zoological gardens." 

"And if they have left egg3 behind them?" 

"We are going to search the woods systematically 
and will inject Lysol into any eggs we find. I 
think that wiil help," laughed the Major. "Shall I 
send some of them to you for examination?" 

"No," cried Meyer-Maier in fright. "Keep them 
off my neck." 

He sat down at his work-table. There seemed a 
vicious smile on the face of the transfixed dead tse- 
tse fly. "You frightful ghost," murmured the pro- 
fessor with pallid lips, and threw a book on the in- . 
sect. His head was in a daze. He tried his best to 
think clearly. An axiom of science came to him: if 
the flies are as large as elephants, they can only 
progagate as fast as elephants do. They can't have 
a million young ones, but only a few. "I can't be 
wrong," he murmured. "I'll look up the confirma- 
tion." 

He took up the telephone and called the city Com- 
missioner. "Major, how many insects were in the 
swarm?" 

(Continued on page 384) 



<HHe MAGNETIC STORM 

^~ SyJiugogernsback 




. . Th. prwid.nt of the Glorious French Republic 
touts dramatically: "Meisl.urs . . . . la jour de 
loira est Arrive .... vivc la France! 1"— and 
■3m huge awiteb with its long ebonite 



THE MAGNETIC STORM 



3S1 




i]HY" Sparks had stopped reading the 
New York Evening World: He contemp- 
lated his old meerschaum pipe medita- 
tively while "with his long and lanky in- 
dex finger, stained by many acids, he 
carefully rubbed a long, thin and quivering noae. 
This wa3 always a sign of deep, concentrated 
thought of the nose's owner. It also, as a rule, in- 
duced the birth of a great idea. 

Again, and very slowly he re-read the article, 
which millions that same day had read casually, 
without a quiver, let alone, a nose quiver. The news- 
paper item was simple enough: 

NEW YORK, Aug. 10, 1917.— An electro- 
magnetic storm of great violence swept over the 
eastern section of the United States iast night. 
Due to a brilliant Aurora Borealis, — the North- 
ern Lights, — telegraph and long distance tele- 
phone, as well as cable communications were 
interrupted for hours. No telegraphic traffic 
was possible between New York and points 
West. It was impossible to work any of the 
transatlantic cables between 12:15 A. M. and 
9:15 A. M., every one of them having "gone 
1 dead." The Aurora Borealis disturbance af- 
fected all telegraph and telephone line3 extend- 
ing between Chicago and the eastern cities. 
On telegraph wires of the Postal Telegraph Co. 
without regular battery being applied at 
terminal offices, grounded lines showed a po- 
tential of 425 volts positive, varying to 225 
volts negative; the disturbance continuing be- 
tween 12:15 A. M. and 9:15 A. M. 

At Newark, N. J., in the Broad Street office 
a Western Union operator was severely 
shocked, trying to operate the key, while long 
sparks played about his instruments. 

Sparks rose excitedly and began pacing the ce-' 
ment floor of the vast Tesla laboratory, totally ob- 
livious to the fact that he was sueking a cold pipe. 
The more he paced about, ^^^ == ^ === ^ = ^ = 
the more excited he be- wawWW— Mi^— I 
came. Finally he flung 
himself into a chair and 
began feverishly to make 
sketches on big white 
sheets of drawing paper. 
"Why" Sparks had been 
just an ordinary "Bug," 
an experimenter, when he 
entered Tesla's great re- 
search laboratory at the 
beginning of the great 
war in 1914. Tesla liked 
the keen, red-haired tous- 
led boy, who always seem- HimilWSWBiaiBia 
ed to divine your thoughts 

before you had uttered rive words. His clear blue 
. eyes, lying deep in their sockets, sparkled with life 
and intelligence and what Sparks did not know about 
electricity was mighty little indeed. I believe there 
is no electrical book in existence that Sparks had not 
devoured ravenously in his spare hours, while hav- 
ing lunch or else while in bed, in the small hours of 
the morning. His thirst for electrical knowledge 
was unbounded, and he soaked up every bit of in- 
formation like a sponge. Yes, and he retained it. 



V-/t3 



too. . In short, the young prodigy was a living elec- 
trical cyclopedia and highly valued by his associates. 
No wonder Tesla in three short years had made him 
superintendent of the laboratory. 

Sparks* First Name 
F course, Sparks' first name was not really 
"Why." But some one had dubbed him with 
this sobriquet because of his eternal "But 
why is this," — "Why, why should we not do it this 
way"— "Why do you try to do that?" In short hi3 
first word always seemed to be "Why," — it had to 
be, in his unending quest of knowledge. And his 
"Why" was always very emphatic, explosive-like, 
imperative, from which 'there was no escape. 

Ah, yes, his first name. To tell the honest truth, 
I don't know it. Last year in the spring when I 
went up to the laboratory, I thought I would find 
out. So when I finally located the young wonder, 
behind a. bus bar, where he was drawing fat, blue 
sparks by means of a screwdriver. I told him that 
I intended to write something about him and his 
wonderful electrical knowledge. Would he be good 
enough to give me his real first name? 

He was watching a big fuse critically, and in art 
absent-minded manner exploded: "Whyf" That " 
finished my mission. And for all I know his real 
name is "Why" Sparks. 

But we left Sparks with his drawings, in the 
laboratory. That was on a certain evening in 1917. 
To be exact it was about 10 o'clock. At 10:05 Tesla 
accompanied by two high army officials strolled in- 
to the laboratory where Sparks was still feverishly 
engaged with sketches lying all about him. 

Tesla who was working out a certain apparatus 
for the Government had dropt in late to show Major 
General McQuire the result of six weeks' labors. 
The apparatus had been completed that day and the 
General, a military electrical expert, had come over 
specially from Washington to see the "thing" work. 

But before Tesla had a chance to throw in the 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^ switch of the large rotary 



r VHIS story was ~,;-t!!Ici; during the world war, long be- 
fore the death ray was ever "invented." 

It is believed in smite quarters thai here we have the 
original germ nf the death ray. In fart, the means chosen 
by the author to rrinij do^;;i enemy nirpliines by means of 
electricity were exploited a number of years later by 
Grhtdell Matthews, although he admits today that the 
death ray was pure fiction. Nevertheless at some future 
date it will be possible to do fust what the author tells as 
in this story. 

Nikola Tesla, whn read the original proofs of this 
story, endorses the idea. He himself was able to bunt out 
electrical amateurs thirteen, ;;:i!es from his famous Col- 
orado power plant, in 1892, when he was also able to 
light electric lamps at this distance, without wires. 



converter, Sparks had 
leaped up, and was wav- 
ing excitedly a large 
drawing in Tesla's face. 
He gushed forth a tor- 
rent of sentences, and for 
fully five minutes Tesla 
and the two Army officials 
were listening spell-bound 
to the young inventor. 
For a minute or two the 
three men were speech- 
less, looking awe-struck 
at Sparks, who, having de- 
mm m— TfaaHnaanstt livered himself of his 
— — — " latest outburst, now 
became normal again and lit up his still cold pipe. 
It wa3 Tesla who first found his voice. "Wonder- 
ful, wonderful. Absolutely wonder-ful. Sparks. In 
a month you will be the most talked of man on this 
planet. And his idea is sound." This to the Gen- 
eral. "Absolutely without a flaw. And so simple. 
Why, oh why! did 1 not think of it before? Come, 
let me shake the hand of America'a youngest and 
greatest genius!" Which he did. 
There then followed an excited thirty-minute con- ■ 



352 



AMAZING STORIES 



versation with the two army men and an endless 
long distance talk with the War Department at 
Washington. Then there was a rush trip to Wash- 
ington by Tesla and Sparks, conferences at the War 
Department, and finally a few day3 later Sparks 
went to the White Blouse and was' presented to the 
President, who was highly enthusiastic about the 
model which Sparks and Tesla demonstrated to the 
head of the Nation. Still later there were certain 
rush orders from the War Department to the Gen- 
eral Electric and Westinghouse Companies for 
many big, queer machines, and these same machines 
were shortly . . . But here the Censor bids us an 
emphatic "Halt." One may not even now divulge 
certain military information. You appreciate that. 

Behind the German Lines 

B'AEON von Unterrichter's flying "Circus" 
wa3 getting ready to bomb a certain Amer- 
ican depot behind the lines. The Americans 
of late had shot down entirely too many of the 
Baron's flyers. Only yesterday von der Haiber- 
stadt — a German ace himself— and one of von Un- 
terrichter's closest friends had been downed, and 
killed inside of the German lines. So the Baron 
was out for blood this sunny morning. As he put 
it: 

"Verdammte Yankee Schwemehunde* we will 
show them who is master of the air hereabouts," 
shaking his fist at the American lines beyond. 

"Sie MwWer," this to an orderly. 

"Zu Befehl, Kerr Leutnant," replied the young 
orderly as he came on the run and stood at attention, 
clicking his heels together, hand at his cap. 

"Versammlung, sofort," barked the chief, as he 
hastened Miiller ofE to summon post haste every 
man of the aerial squadron for the usual conference 
before the attack. 

In less than ten minutes the thirty flyers were 
standing drawn up at military attention before 
their chief, forming a half circle about him. Von 
Unterrichter's instructions were simple enough. 
This was a reprisal raid; von der Halberstadt's 
death must be avenged, fearfully avenged. No quar- 
ter was to be given. 

"Dieses Amerikanische Gesindel!" — here his 
voice rose to a shrill pitch, "must be taught to re- 
spect us, as never before. The orders are to bomb 
every American base hospital within the sector 

At this several of the men recoiled involuntarily, 
which did not escape the keen eye of von Unter- 
richter, who now incensed to blind fury, by this 
show of "softheartedness," as he put it, exhorted 
his men in his harshest possible terms. "And as 
for their flyers, you must not give quarter. You 
must not be satisfied with disabling tbeir machines. 
Kill them! Sckiesst die Lumpen zusammen! 
Pump nickel into them, if you see that they may 
land unharmed" — this in direct violation of all fly- 
ing etiquette — a thing abhorred by any decent flyer 
as a rule. It is bad enough to have your machine 
shot down, but "sitting on a disabled enemy's tail," 
and pouring machine gun fire into a helpless man, 
struggling in mid-air, — what was German prestige 
coming to with such methods. Plainly the men did 
not like such liberties with their honor, but orders 

•For translation of foreiffa terms'sce end of this story. 



were orders. They grumbled audibly and cast not 
very encouraging looks at their chief. Even his 
parting shout: "Vorwarts—fur Gott und y_ater r 
land," failed to bring the usual cheers. 

The German Aerial "Circus" 

PROMPTLY on the minute of 10 the fifteen 
flyers of the "Circus" rose, like a flock of big 
white sea gulls heading in "V" formation 
towards the American lines. Von Unterrichter 
was leading his herd in a big Folcker. He was out 
for blood and he meant to have it. His face was 
set, his jaws clenched like a vice. Hate was written 
in large characters over his face. . . . Why didn't 
these Dollarfdger stay home and mind their own 
business chasing their dollars V What right did they 
have in this fray, anyway, "ttlendige Schuieine- 
bande," he spoke out loud, to better vent his over- 
powering hate. 

But where were the Yankee Flieger today? The 
Baron's "Circus" was up one thousand meters and 
less than a mile away from the American first line 
trenches, but still no machine in sight, either 
American or French. Strange. Quite an unheard of 
occurrence. Afraid? "Unsinn," he muttered to 
himself, they were not the sort to be afraid. Von. 
Unterrichter knew that. For the first time he felt 
a vague sort of uneasiness creeping over him. He 
could not understand. There was not a Flieger any- 
where in sight. None on the ground either, as he 
scanned the vast saucer below him through his 
Zeiss. Was it a new trick, was . . . 

Before he finished his train of thought, his engine 
stopped dead. Cursing volubly he made ready to 
"bank" his machine in order to volplane down be- 
hind his own lines. He congratulated himself that 
hia engines had not stopped later while over the 
enemy's lines, but his pleasure was short-lived. For 
he suddenly became aware of the fact that there was 
a supreme quiet reigning all about him. Why did 
he not hear the loud roar of the other fourteen en- 
gines, now that his own engine was quiet? Looking 
around he perceived with horror that every one of 
the fourteen machines of the "Circus" had simul- 
taneously "gone dead" and all of them were now 
volplaning earthward. 

The "Circus" Descends Disabled 

SICK with an unknown terror, von Unterrichter 
made a clumsy landing in the midst of his 
other flyers, all of them pale, some shaking, 
some with a strange animal expression in their eyes. 
What unknown, invisible hand had with one stroke 
disabled the fifteen engines, one thousand meters 
above the ground? 

"Himmelkreuzdonnerwetter," shrieked von Un- 
terrichter jumping to the ground, near his air- 
drome. "I ... I . 1 . cannot" . , . here his voice 
broke. For the first time in his life the young Prus- 
sian was speechless. He then stamped his foot in 
a frenzied fury, but finally gave vent to a full round 
of cursing. At last he collected his senses suffi- 
ciently to look for the- cause of the mysterious occur- 
rence. It only took five minutes to find it. His 
mechanician pointed to the magneto. 

"Kaput," he said laconically, if not grammatically. 

"Auseinander nehmen," commanded the chief. 

It took the deft mechanician but a minute to take 



THE MAGNETIC STORM 



353 



the magneto apart, and to withdraw the armature- 
He gave it one look and with a sickly smile uttered : 

"Ausgebrannt, Herr Leutnant." Herr Leutnant 
took the armature into his own hand3 and inspected 
it critically. Sure enough it was burnt out, if ever 
there was a burnt out armature. Perhaps fused 
would be a better term. The armature was beyond 
repair, a child could see that. He flung it away 
and went over to the next nearest flyer. But the 
mechanic had already located the trouble — in the 
magneto. Burnt out, too! 

Von Unterrichter unutterably sick at heart, aim- 
lessly wandered about the other machines. In each 
case the result was the same: Every magneto arma- 
ture of the fifteen flyers was burnt out, the wires 
fused together, all insulation gone I 

"Aber so 'was", muttered von Unterrichter, look- 
ing about him helplessly. It took fully five minutes 
before it filtered through his thick skull that this 
disaster that overtook his "circus" could by no 
means be a coincidence. 

"Verfluchte Amerikaner", he said, "probably a 
new Teufelmaschine of Edison!" 

But what would the Kommando say to this? In- 
stantly he stiffened as he jumped into a waiting au- 
tomobile, attached to the airdrome. 

"Zum Kommando, schnell", he ordered the driver 
as he sank back into his seat. He must report this 
queer business to headquarters at once. The driver 
cranked the engine, then cranked it some more. 
Pf ut . . . pf ut . . . pfut . . . sputtered the engine 
asthmatic-like, but it did not start. He tried again. 
Same result. 

The Useless Automobile 
k ONNEEWETTER nochmal," stormed the 
n vexed over the delay, "was ist denyi 
jetzt los? why in thunder don't you start 
you miserable dog? But the engine would 
not start. The perplexed chauffeur climbed into 
the seat of the old style car, which still had 
its faithful spark coils, so necessary to the igni- 
tion system. But the spark coil refused to work, al- 
though the storage battery was fully charged and 
all the connections were right. Cautiously he pulled 
out one of the spark coil units from its box. One 
look told the story. 

"Ausgebrannt, Herr Leutnant," he said weakly, 
for he had seen the burnt out magneto armatures 
a few minutes before. 

Von Unterrichter, with eyes almost popping out 
of his head, was struck absolutely speechless for 
half a minute. "Heiliger Strohsack", he muttered 
awe-struck, remembering his young sister's favorite 
expression, whenever something out of the ordinary 
happened to her. He finally collected himself suf- 
ficiently and jumped out of the car. 

"Zum Telefon", he muttered to himself. He must 
report this uncanny occurrence at once to the Kom- 
mando. Not a second was to be lost. He at last un- 
derstood that something momentous had happened. 
He made the airdrome on the run and though it was 
only 200 yards away he surprised himself at the 
speed he made. Puffing volubly he arrived at the 
telephone. He gave the handle several quick turns, 
grasped the receiver and simultaneously bellowed* 
into the mouthpiece in front of him: 

•All German telephones are magneto operated. To call Central yoi» 
mast turn the handle of ths ringing magneto. 



D 



"Hallo, hallo" . . . but he went no further. The 
receiver flew from his ear, for there had been a loud 
clattering, rattling, ear-splitting noise in the instru- 
ment that almost burst his eardrum. He made a 
foolish grimace, as he held hi3 ear with his hand. 
Cautiously he approached the receiver to within a 
few inches of his other ear and listened. All was 
quiet, not a sound. Mechanically he unscrewed the 
receiver cap and looked at the two bobbins. They 
were charred and black. The telephone was dead. 

To the Radio Transmitting Station 

THE instrument slipped from his hand and 
dangling by its red and purple cord went 
crashing against the wall of the airdrome, 
while von Unterrichter limply sank into a 
chair. 

Once more he got up and walked out. He must 
get in touch with his General at all costs. This 
was becoming too serious. Ah ... he had it, the 
field telegraph. There was one at the other end of 
the building. He went there as fast as his legs could 
carry him. He opened the door of the little office, 
but one look sufficed. The young man in charge of 
the telegraph sat dejected in a corner, a dumb ex- 
pression in his eyes. Long purple sparks were play- 
ing about the instruments on the table. A child 
could have seen that it was impossible to either 
send or receive a telegram under such conditions. 
... Ah! an inspiration. . . . 

"Dummkopf," he muttered to himself, "Why 
didn't I think of it before. Die Fimkenstation! 
Surely the wireless must work ! Ha, ha, there are 
no wires there at least to burn out!" 

The radio station was over a kilometer away. He 
knew it well, for he had flown over it a great many 
times. To get there quick, that was the question. 
The Kommando was at least eight kilometers to the 
rear, and he knew he could not make that distance 
on foot very quickly. Ah, yes, there was a horse 
somewhere around. The cavalry horse was located 
soon, and as the young airman walked hurriedly 
about, troubled as he was, he could not help noticing 
the listless attitude of every man he passed. Men 
were -whispering in a hushed manner, alarm was 
plainly written on their faces — the fear or the un- 
known. 

Von Unterrichter jumped on to his horse and 
galloped in the direction of the field radio station. 
It did not take him long to reach it, and long be- 
fore he dismounted he could 3ee the bright blue 
apark of the transmitting station. 

"Gott sei Lob", he uttered to himself as he 
jumped to the ground, "at least that's working." 

Now it so happened that von Unterrichter had 
been an expert wireless man before the war, and 
while he did not know a great deal about electricity, 
he well knew how to send and receive messages. 

He ran to the wagon which carried the mobile 
radio field apparatus and peremptorily ordered the 
operator in charge away. "Aber Herr Leutnant", 
expostulated the thus rudely interrupted man, "1 
tell you . . ." 

"Maul halten", thundered von Unterrichter, with 
which he sat down, clamping the operator's receiv- 
ier.3 on his own head. 



354 



AMAZING STORIES 



At the Wireless Key 



He pressed the key impulsively, and noted with 
grim satisfaction that the loud blue spark crashed 
merrily in the not very up-to-date spark gap. 

As he sent out the call mechanically, he wondered 
vaguely what the matter could be with the govern- 
ment, because it did not even supply a modern, up- 
to-date Laschfunkenstrecke — quenched spark gap— i 
for field use. Things must be pretty bad when the 
government must economize even a few beggarly 
pounds of brass, so necessary for a noiseless spark 
gap. 

But he could not give that matter further atten- 
tion for he had thrown the aerial switch from 
"sending" to "receiving." 

He had strained his ears for a reply from the op- 
erator from the Kommando, but, as the switch was 
thrown, instead of a reply there was a loud, constant 
roar in the receivers, so loud that it was painful. 
Off came the headgear, while von Unterrichter once 
more sank into a chair. 

He was a pitiful spectacle to look at, the fate of a 
20th Century man flung back a hundred years. His 
eyes roamed idly about tifl the distant railroad em- 
bankment struck his eye. No train was moving. 
Everything was at a standstill — how could a train 
move without a telegraph? How could a train be 
dispatched—there would be a thousand collisions. 
He turned to the radio operator, who as yet had not 
grasped the situation in its entirety. 

"Nordlicht, nickt wahr, Herr Leutnant?" he be- 
gan, thinking no doubt that the phenomenon was 
an ordinary form of Aurora Borealis, — the northern 
lights, — in other words, a magnetic storm, that 
would be over soon. 

"Dummes Rindsvieh" . . . snapped the Herr. 
Leutnant, who knew better by this time. Indeed he 
was to know still more at once, for while he was 
speaking there came to his ear a low dull roar, a 
sound he had heard once before, far back in 1914 
when the Germans had retreated very much in a 
hurry beyond the Marne. 

Panic seized him. - Ye3 the sound was unmistak- 
able. The German army once more was in full re- 
treat — no it was a rout— a panic-stricken rabble 
that made its way back. 

Rumors Spread Through the German Banks 

LIKE lightning the news had spread among the 
men at the front that uncanny things were 
afoot, that all communications had been an- 
nihilated with one stroke, that no orders 
could be sent or received except by prehistoric cour- 
iers, that the Grosses Kommando was cut off from 
the army, and that in short the German army as 
far as communication was concerned, had suddenly 
found itself a century hack. 

For what had happened to von Unterrichter that 
morning, had happened on a large scale not "only to 
every one along the front, but all over Germany as 
■well! Every train, every trolley car, every electric 
motor or dynamo, every telephone, every telegraph 
had been put out of commission. With one stroke 
Germany had been flung back into the days of Na- 
poleon. Every modern industry, every means of 
traffic — except horse-drawn vehicles— were at a 
standstill. For days the German retirement went 



on, till on the fifteenth day, the entire German army 
had retired behind the natural defenses of the 
Rhine, the victorious Allies, pressing the fleeing 
hordes back irresistibly. 

And it must have been a bitter pill for the Ger- 
man high-command to swallow when they saw that 
the Allied fliers were constantly flying behind their 
own lines and that as the Allies advanced, their au- 
tomobiles and their trains seemed to run as well as 
ever behind their own lines. But no German suc- 
ceeded in flying an aeroplane or in running an au- 
tomobile. That mysterious force obviously was 
trained only against them, but was harmless behind 
the Allied lines. Nor did the Germans find out to 
this date what caused their undoing. 

I cannot, even now, divulge the full details of the 
scheme of just how the Germans were finally driven 
across the Rhine. That, of course, is a military 
secret. 

But I am permitted to give an outline of just what 
happened on that memorable morning, when the 
German army was flung back into the dark ages. 

In Tesla's Laboratory 

BUT first we must go back to Tesla's laboratory 
once more, back to that evening when "Why" 
Sparks first overwhelmed Tesla and his com- 
panions with his idea. This is in part what Sparks 
said: 

"Mr. Tesla I In 1898 while you were making your 
now historic high-frequency experiments in Col- 
orado with your 300-kiIowatt generator, you ob- 
tained sparks 100 feet in length. The noise of these 
sparks was like a roaring Niagara, and these spark 
discharges were the largest and most wonderful 
produced by man down to this very day. The Prim- 
ary coil of your oscillator measured 51 feet in diam- 
eter, while you used 1100 amperes. The voltage 
probably was over 20 million. Now then, in your 
book, High Frequency Currents, among other things 
you state that the current which you produced by 
means of this mammoth electric oscillator was so 
terrific that its effect was felt 13 miles away. Al- 
though there were no wires between your laboratory 
and the Colorado Electric Light & Power Co., five 
miles distant, your 'Wireless' Energy burnt out 
several armatures of the large dynamo generators, 
simply by long distance induction from your high 
frequency oscillator. You subsequently raised such 
havoc with the Lighting Company's dynamos that 
you had to modify your experiments, although you 
were over five miles away from the Lighting Com- 
pany*' 

"Now if in 1898, twenty years ago, you could do 
that, why, WHY cannot we go a step further in- 
1918, when we have at our command vastly more 
powerful generators and better machinery. If you 
can burn out dynamo armatures 13 miles distant 
with a paltry 300 kilowatts, why cannot we burn out 
every armature within a radius of 500 miles or. 

Sparks' Great Project 

(( r"l""VHE primary coil of your oscillator in 1898 
I was 51 feet in diameter. Why cannot we 
, 1 build a primary 'coil' from the English 

channel down to Switzerland, paralleling the 

'The above occurrences as well as the cited experiments and effects 
of the Tesla currents are actual Cads iLr.>c!::d by Mr. Tesla himself, 
who saw the original proofs of this story. — Editor. 



THE MAGNETIC STORM 



355 



entire Western front? This is not such a foolish, 
nor such a big undertaking as you might think. 
My calculations show that if we were to string 
highly insulated copper wires one-quarter inch thick 
on telegraph poles behind the front, the problem 
would become a simple one- 
Ordinary telegraph poles can be used, and 
each pole is to carry twenty wires. Begin- 
ning three feet above the ground, each wire is 
spaced two feet distant from the next one. These 
■wires run continuous from the sea to Switzerland. 
Moreover, every ten miles or so we place a huge 
3,000 kilowatt generating plant with its necessary 
spark gaps, condensers, etc. The feed wires from 
these generating plants then run into the thick 
wires, strung along the telegraph poles, forming the 
gigantic Tesla Primary Coil. Of course, you realize 
that in a scheme of this kind it is not necessary to 
run the telegraph poles actually parallel with every 
curve of the actual front. That would be a waste 
of material. But we will build our line along a huge 
flat curve which will sometimes come to within one- 
half mile of the front, and sometimes it will be as 
much. as fifteen miles behind it. The total length of 
the line I estimate to be about 400 miles. That gives 
us 40 generating plants or a total power of 120,000 
kilowatts ! A similar line is built along the Italian 
front, which is roughly one hundred miles long at 
present. That gives us another 30,000 kilowatts, 
bringing the total up to 150,000! Now the import- 
ant part is to project the resultant force from this 
huge Tesla primary coil in one direction only, 
namely that facing the enemy. This I find can be 
readily accomplished by screening the wires on the 
telegraph poles at the side facing our way as well as 
by using certain impedance coils. The screen is 
nothing else but ordinary thin wire netting fastened 
on a support wire between the telegraph poles. This 
screen will then act as a sort of electric reflector. 
So." . . . Sparks demonstrated hy means of one of 
his sketches. 

"Everything completed we turn on the high-fre- 
quency current into our line from the sea to little 
Switzerland. Immediately we shoot billions of volts 
over Germany and Austria, penetrating every cor- 
ner of the Central empires. Every closed coil of wire 
throughout Germany and Austria, be it a dynamo 
armature, or a telephone receiver coil, will be 
burnt out, due to the terrific electromotive force 
set up inductively to our primary current. In other 
words every piece of electrical apparatus or mach- 
inery will become the secondary of our Tesla coil, no 
matter where located. Moreover the current is to be 
turned on in the day time only. It is switched off 
during the night. The night is made use of to ad- 
vance the telegraph poles over the recaptured land, 
— new ones can be used with their huge primary coil 
wires, for I anticipate that the enemy must fall 
back. Turning off the power does not work to our 
disadvantage, for it is unreasonable to suppose that 
the Teutons will be able to wind and install new 
coils and armatures to replace all the millions that 
were burnt out during the day. Such a thing is im- 
possible. Besides, once we get the Germans moving, 
it ought to be a simple matter to follow up our ad- 
vantage, for you must not forget that we will de- 
stroy ALL their electrical communications with one 
stroke. No aeroplane, no automobile, will move 



throughout the Central States. In other words, we 
will create a titanic artificial Magnetic Storm, such 
as the world has never seen. But its effect will be 
vastly greater and more disastrous than any natural 
magnetic storm that ever visited this earth. Nor 
can the Germans safeguard themselves against this 
electric storm any more than our telegraph com- 
panies can when a real magnetic storm sweeps over 
the earth. Also, every German telegraph or tele- 
graph line in occupied France and Belgium will be 
our ally! These insulated metallic lines actually 
help us to "guide" our energy into the very heart of 
the enemy's countries. The more lines, the better 
for us, because all lines act as feed wires for our 
high frequency electrical torrents. . . ." 

At Nomeny Near the Frontier. 

A PEW kilometers north of Nancy, in the De-" 
partment of Meurthe et Moselle, there is a 
little town by the name of Nomeny. It is a 
progressive, thrifty little French town of chief im- 
portance principally for the reason that here for 
four years during the great war the French army 
has been nearer to the German frontier than at any 
other point, with the exception of that small por- 
tion of Alsace actually in the hands of the French. 

Nomeny in the military sense is in the Toul Sec- 
tor, which sector early in 1918 was taken over by the 
Americans. If you happened to go up in a captive 
balloon near Nomeny you could see the spires of 
the Metz Cathedral and the great German fortress, 
but 16 kilometers away, always presuming that the 
air was clear and you had a good glass. 

On a superb warm summer morning there were 
queer doings at a certain point in the outskirts of 
Nomeny. All of a sudden this point seemed to have 
become the center of interest of the entire French, 
British and American armies. Since dawn the mili- 
tary autos of numerous high Allied officers had been 
arriving while the gray-blue uniforms of the French 
officers were forever mixing with the business-like 
khaki of the British and Americans. 

The visitors first gave their attention to the 
camouflaged, odd-looking telegraph poles which 
resembled huge harps, with the difference that the 
wires were running horizontally, the "telegraph" 
line stretching from one end of the horizon to the 
other. A few hundred yards back of this line there 
was an old brewery from which ran twenty thick 
wires, connecting the brewery with the telegraph 
poles. To this brewery the high officers next 
strolled. An inspection here revealed a ponderous 
3,000 kilowatt generator purring almost silently. 
On its shining brass plate was the legend: "Made 
in U. S. A." There was also a huge wheel with large 
queer round zinc pieces. Attached to the axis of 
this wheel was a big electric motor, but it was not 
running now. There were also dozens of huge glass 
jar3 on wooden racks lined against the wall. Pon- 
derous copper cables connected the jars with the 
huge wheel. 

One of the French officers, who, previous to the 
war, had been an enthusiastic Wireless Amateur, 
was much interested in the huge wheel and the large 
glass bottles. "Aha", said he, turning to his ques- 
tioning American confrere, "V eclateur rotatif et lea 
bouteilles de Leyde." 

There was little satisfaction in this, but just then 



3J6 



AMAZING STORIES 



a red-haired, tousled young man who seemed to be 
much at home in the brewery, came over and ad- 
justed something on the huge wheel. 

"What do you call all of these dofurmies?" our 
young officer asked of him, pointing at the mysteri- 
ous objects. 

"Rotary spark gap and Leyden jars," was the 
laconic reply. The officer nodded. Just then there 
was a big commotion. The door flew open and a 
French officer standing at attention shouted impres- 
sively : 

"Le President de la Ripublique!" 

The President of France Arrives 

INSTANTLY every man stood erect at attention, 
hand at the cap. A few seconds later and Presi- 
dent Poincarfe walked in slowly, at his side 
General PtUain. It was then five minutes to 10. 

President Poincare was introduced to the red- 
haired, tousled young man whom he addressed as 
Monsieur Sparks. Monsieur Sparks speaking a much 
dilapidated French, managed, however, to explain to 
his Excellence all of the important machinery, 
thanks to a sleepless night with a French dictionary. 

Monsieur Poincarf} was much impressed and 
visibly moved, when a French officer had gone over 
Sparks' ground, and re-explained the finer details. 

The President now takes his stand on an elevated 
platform near a huge switch which has an ebonite 
handle about a foot long. He then addresses the 
distinguished assembly with a short speech, all the 
while watching a dapper young French officer stand- 
ing near him, chronometer in hand. 

Somewhere a clock begins striking the hour of 
ten. The President still speaks but finishes a few 
seconds later. The distinguished assemblage ap- 
plauds and cheers vociferously, only to be stopped 
by the dapper young officer who slowly raises his 
right hand, his eyes glued to the chronometer. Im- 
mediate silence prevails, only interrupted by the 
soft purring of the huge generator. The dapper 
young officer suddenly 3ings out: 

"Monsieur le Pr6sident! A-ten-tion! ALLEZH" 

The President of the glorious French Republic 
then shouts dramatically: "Messieurs . . . le jour 
de gloire est arrive . . . VIVE— LA— FRANCE!!" 
— and throws in the huge switch with its long ebpn- 
ite handle. 

Instantly the ponderous rotary spark gap begins 
to revolve with a dizzying speed, while blinding blue- 
white sparks crash all along the inside circumfer- 
ence with a noise like a hundred cannons set off all 
at once. The large brewery hall intensifies the ear- 
splitting racket so much that every one is compelled 
to close his ears with his hands. 

Quickly stepping outside the party arrives just in 
time to see fifteen German airplanes volplaning 
down and disappearing behind the German lines. A 
French aerial officer who had observed the German 
airplanes, drops his glass, steps over to the Presi- 
dent, salutes smartly and says impressively: 

"Le 'cirque' dit Baron d'Vnterrichter! lis sont 
hors de combat!" 

Hors de combat is correct. Von Unterrichter was 
not to fly again for many a week. 

We look around to tell the glad news to General 
Pe'tain, but the latter has disappeared into a low 
brick building where he now sits surrounded by his 



staff, poring over military maps ornamented with 
many vari-colored pencil marks, as well as little 
brightly- colored pin-flags. Telephone and telegraph 
instruments are all about the room. 

The Enemy in Retreat 

AGAIN the President shakes hands with Motf* 
sieur Sparks, congratulating him on his 
achievement. Luncheon is then served in 
the former office of the brewery, g a y I y 
bedecked with the Allied flags along the 
walls. But even here, far from the titanic ro- 
tary spark gap, its crashing sparks are audible. 
Looking through the window we see a wonderful 
sight. Although it is broad daylight, the entire 
queer telegraph line is entirely enveloped in a huge 
violet spray of electric sparks. It is as if "heat- 
lightning" were playing continuously about the 
whole line. No one may venture within fifty feet 
of the line. It would mean instant death by this 
man-made lightning. 

Luncheon is soon over and more speeches are 
made. Suddenly the door flings open and General 
Petain steps in. One look at his remarkable fea- 
tures, and all talk stops as if by magic. He crosses 
the room towards the President, salutes and says in 
a calm voice, though his eyes betray his deep emo- 
tion: 

"Monsieur le President, toute Varm&e Allemande 
est en retraibel!" 

And so it was. The greatest and final retreat of 
the Kaiser's "invincible" hordes was in full swing 
towards the Rhine- 
More congratulations are to be offered to Spark3. 
A medal, . . . Heavens, where is that young man?, 
But Sparks has slipped over to his machines and is 
standing in front of the noisy "thunder and light- 
ning" wheel eyeing it enthusiastically. 

"Why, oh WHY, do they call you eclateur!" he 
says. "Spark Gap is good enough for me!" "Oh, 
boy!! But you aren't doing a thing to those 
Germins!" 

Translation of German and French Terms Used ini 
This Story. 



Verdammie Yankee Schmcinckundn: Dammed Yankee Pig-Dogs! 

Sic, Mtillrr: You. Mullcrl 
Zi: n,:;\-l:t, Hcrr Lcxhi-sxt 
Vcrsammlans, safer: - ' 



m-.U-rs, Lieu 



Gcsir.dei: This American rabble I 
Srtbv! din /.v;:;;vi: z;:<,!™».".'r.; Sh-.n I'm r.^a-v.iHii::! l.o,;-1 1 i..m 
Vorwiirls fir CoU „,:,! f^rrlnr.d: Ornv.ir.l, lor Cor[ ami l-':itilf 
Dollar jager: Dollar Cliawrs. 

!■!■: :.:■ :■• .'.': .y;«.;V:i;,?, . .;■.! :. ,_:-. ; v- : : . .:. ! ■; .:. :, 
(■'.■: i.K;'f.: MOTISetlSe. 

Flint": By" (aeroplane) 

r/^UH.-i.'.-x-i.-.rrfcKiw;.-,-;:.--'.- A r^i-.iHr l„~.::rc: -'cuss" word. Ll( 
rthunder." English equivalent is "A tho 



that 



.Ki 


;;■;;.■ i.i:-; 


man slang, equivalent to our slang "1 


At 




r imkmea: Talis it apart! 






:t: Burnt-out. 






■is: Such a lliing (of all things). 

( r"! American 


V, 




Ti 


-,,,■:■. ;.;■. 


hi,:,-: DiiibMiir: machine. 




,vi Kt»»n 


w.h. ■!,-:■■::■■:!: G'-ilc!:. 11 !■! ■:•:!■ ifu :-.:'.- r 
if r.:!ci:«:<.:l: I!y all tnuudersl 


w 




ip now? 


H. 




rollsach: Holy bag-iff -straw; (([:nv;i!i-i!l: 


J>: 


unmkotf 


: Blockhead. 

utrtion: The Radio Station. 


Gt 




6: God be thanked. 


At 


>nr. Hcrr 


Le«-(»«nt: But, Lieutenant! 




an/ kaltc 




I : 


■TCkfuuk, 


Hstrecke: Quenched Spark Gap. 




n-dlickt, i 


-,icht makr!: Northern liiiliis," h ii v.o: 


D, 


mimes Rindsviek: Stupid piece of civile. 


Ci 


asses Ko 


inmanda: General Head quarters. 



sted." 



^Continued on page 384) 



Gfie Sphinx 

U " AifgdcfarJUan Poe r 

Author of "Mesmeric Reyelation," "The Case of M, Valdemar," etc. 





jj|URING the dread reign of the cholera 
in New York, I had accepted the invita- 
tion of a relative to spend a fortnight 
with him in the retirement of hia cot- 
tage orne on the banks of the Hudson. 
We had here around us all the ordinary means 
of summer amusement; and what with rambling 
in the woods, sketching, boating, fishing, bathing, 
music and books, we should 

have passed the time pleasantly JuxHHHHMMH 
enough, but for the fearful in- 
telligence which reached us 
every morning from the popu- 
lous city. Not a day elapsed 
which did not bring us news of 
the decease of some acquaint- 
ance. Then, as the fatality in- 
creased, we learned to expect 
daily the loss of some friend. 
At length we trembled at the 
approach of every messenger. 



'THIS little-kntmm classic by Edgar Allan 
Poe is chiefly interesting because it once 
more shows us how our senses are sometimes 
fooled and bow nature ofteti contrives to 
play some huge joke on vs. 

In this story Poe takes as his -uehicle the 
science of optics, and with his usual facile 
pen he manages to excite your interest to a 
high pitch. The denouement is as simple as 
it is startling. 



The very air from the South seemed to us redolent 
with death. That palsying thought, indeed, took en- 
tire possession of my sou!. I could neither speak, 
think, nor dream of anything else. My host was of 
a less excitable temperament, and, although greatly 
depressed in spirits, exerted himself to sustain my 
own. "His richly philosophical intellect was not at 
any time affected by unrealities. To the substances 
of terror he was sufficiently 
HMHMsniHHi a hve, but of its shadows he had 
— no apprehension. 

His endeavors to arouse me 
from the condition of abnormal 
gloom into which I had fallen 
were frustrated, in great meas- 
ure, by certain volumes which 
I had found in his iibrary. 
These were of a character to 
force into germination what- 
ever seeds of hereditary super- 
station lay latent in. my, bosom. 



357 



358 



AMAZING STORIES 



I had been reading these books without his knowl- 
edge, and thus he was often at a loss to account for 
the forcible impression which had been made upon 
my fancy. 

The Popular Belie! in. Omens Discussed 

A FAVORITE topic with me was the popular 
belief in omens — a belief which at 
this one epoch of my life, I was 
almost seriously disposed to defend. On this 
subject we had long and animated discussions; he 
maintaining the utter groundlessness of faith in 
such, matters ; I contending that a popular sentiment 
arising with absolute spontaneity — -that is to say, 
without apparent traces of suggestions — had in 
itself the unmistakable elements of truth, and was 
entitled to much respect. 

The fact is that, soon after my arrival at the 
cottage, there had occurred to myself an incident so 
entirely inexplicable, and which had in it so much 
of the portentous character, that I might well have 
been excused for regarding it an omen. It appalled, 
and at the same time so confounded and bewildered 
me, that many days elapsed before I could make up 
my mind to communicate the circumstances to my 
friend. 

An Awful Apparition 

NEAR the close of an exceedingly warm day, 
I was sitting, book in hand, at an 
open window commanding, through a 
long vista of the river banks, a view of 
a distant hill, the face of which nearest my posi- 
tion had been denuded, by what is termed a land- 
slide, of the principal portion of its trees. My 
thoughts had been long wandering from the volume 
before me to the gloom and desolation of the neigh- 
boring city. Uplifting my eyes from the page, they 
fell upon the naked face of the hill, and upon an 
object — upon some living monster of hideous con- 
formation, — which very rapidly made its way from 
the summit to the bottom, disappearing finally in 
the dense forest below. As this creature first came 
in sight, I doubted my own sanity, or at least the 
evidence of my own eye3; and many minutes passed 
before I succeeded in convincing myself that I was 
neither mad nor in a dream. Yet when I describe 
the monster (which I distinctly saw, and calmly sur- 
veyed through the whole period of its progress), 
my readers, I fear, will feel more difficulty in being 
convinced of these points than even I did myself. 

Estimating the size of the creature by compari- 
son with the diameter of the large trees near which 
it passed — the few giants of the forest which had 
escaped the fury of the landslide — I concluded it to 
be far larger than any ship of the line in existence. 
I say "ship of the line," because the shape of the 
monster suggested the idea; the hull of one of our 
seventy-fours might convey a very tolerable con- 
ception of the general outline. The mouth of the 
animal was situated at the extremity of a proboscis 
some sixty or seventy feet in length, and about as 
thick as the body of an ordinary elephant. Near 
the root of this trunk was an immense quantity of 
black, shaggy hair — more than could have been sup- 
plied by the coats of a score of buffaloes; and, pro- 
jecting from his hair downwardly and laterally, 
sprang two gleaming tusks not unlike those of the 
wild boar, but of infinitely greater dimension, Ex- 



tending forward, parallel with the proboscis, and ori 
each side of it, was a gigantic staff, thirty or forty 
feet in length, formed seemingly of pure crystal, 
and in shape a perfect prism: — it reflected in the 
most gorgeous manner the rays of the declining sun. 
The trunk was fashioned like a wedge with the apex 
to the earth. From it there were outspread two 
pairs of wings — each wing nearly one hundred 
yards in length — one pair being placed above the 
other, and all thickly covered with metal scales ; each 
scale apparently some ten or twelve feet in diameter. 
I observed that the upper and lower tiers of wings 
were connected by a strong chain. But the chief 
peculiarity of this horrible thing was the repre- 
sentation of a Death's Head, which covered nearly 
the whole' surface of its breast, and which was as 
accurately traced in glaring white, upon the dark 
ground of the body, as if it had been there carefully 
designed by an artist. While I regai-ded this ani- 
mal, and more especially the appearance on its 
breast, with a feeling of horror and awe — with a 
sentiment of forthcoming evil, which I found it im- 
possible to quell by any effort of the reason — I per- 
cieved the huge jaws at the extremity of the pro- 
boscis suddenly expand themselves, and front them 
there proceeded a sound so loud and so expressive 
of woe that it struck upon my nerves like a knell, 
and, as the monster disappeared at the foot of the 
hill, I fell at once, fainting, to the floor. 

Upon recovering, my first impulse of course was to 
inform my friend of what I had seen and heard— 
and I can scarcely explain what feeling of repug- 
nance it was, which, in the end, operated to pre- 
vent me. 

Again Terrorized by the Apparition Reappearing 

AT length, one evening, some three or four days 
after the occurrence, we were sitting to- 
gether in the room in which I had seen the 
apparition — I occupying the same seat at the same 
window, and he lounging on a sofa near at hand. 
The association of the place and time impelled me 
to give him an account of the phenomenon. He 
heard me to the end — at first laughed heartily, and 
then lapsed into an excessively grave demeanor, as 
if my insanity was a thing beyond suspicion. At 
this instant I again had a distinct view of the mon- 
ster to which, with a shout of absolute terror, I now 
directed his attention. He looked eagerly, but main- 
tained that he saw nothing, although I designated 
minutely the course of the creature as it made its 
way down the naked face of the hill, 

I was now immeasurably alarmed, for I consid- 
ered the vision either as an omen of my death, or, 
worse, as the forerunner of an attack of mania. I 
threw myself passionately back in my chair, and for 
some moments buried my face in my hands. When I 
uncovered my eyes, the apparition was no longer 
visible. 

My host, however, had in some degree resumed 
the calmness of his demeanor, and questioned me 
very rigorously in respect to the conformation of the 
visionary ci-eature. When I had fully satisfied 
him on this head he sighed deeply, as if relieved of 
some intolerable burden, and went on to talk, with 
what I thought a cruel calmness, of various points 
of speculative philosophy, which had heretofore 
formed a subject of discussion between; us. I re-< 



THE SPHINX 



359, 



member his insisting very especially (among other, 
things) upon the idea that the principal source of 
error in all human investigations lay in the lia- 
bility of the understanding to under-rate or to over- 1 
value the importance of an object, through mere 
misadmeasurement of its propinquity. "To estimate 
properly, for example," he said, "the influence to be 
exercised on mankind at large by the thorough 
diffusion of Democracy, the distance of the epoch 
at which such diffusion may possibly be accom- 
plished should not fail to form an item in the esti- 
mate. Yet can you tell me one writer on the sub- 
ject of government, who has ever thought thisi 
particular branch of the subject worthy of dis- 
cussion at air;/* 



Apparition Identified and the Occurrences Explained 



HE here paused for a moment, stepped to a; 
bookcase, and brought forth one of the or- 
dinary synopses of Natural History. Ee- 
questing me then to exchange seats with him that 
he might the better distinguish the fine print of 1 
the volume, he took my armchair at the window, and, 
opening the book, resumed his discourse very much 
in the same tone as before. ft 

"But for your exceeding minuteness," he said, 
"in describing the monster, I might never had had it 
in my power to demonstrate to you what it was. In 
. the first place, let me read to you a schoolboy ac- 



count of the g«nus Sphinx, of the family Crepus- 
cularia, of the order Lepidoptera, of the class of 
Insecta — or insects. The account runs thus: 

" 'Four membranous wings covered with little 
colored scales of a metallic appearance ; mouth form- 
ing a rolled proboscis, produced by an elongation 
of the jaws, upon the sides of which are found the 
rudiments of mandibles and downy palpi; the in- 
ferior wings retained to the superior by a stiff 
hair; antennae in the form of an elongated club, 
prismatic; abdomen pointed. The Death's-headed 
Sphinx baa occasioned much terror among the vul- 
gar, at times, by the melancholy kind of cry which 
it utters, and the insignia, of death which it wears 
upon its corselet.'" 

He here closed the book and leaned forward in 
the chair, placing himself accurately in the position 
which I had occupied at the moment of beholding 
"the monster." 

"Ah, here it is I" he presently exclaimed="It i^ 
re-ascending the face of the hill, and a very remark- 
able looking creature I admit it to be. Still, it is by 
no means so large or so distant as you imagined it; 
for the fact is that, as it wriggles its way up this 
thread, which some spider has wrought along the; 
window sash, I find it to be about the sixteenth of 
an inch in its extreme length, and also about the 
sixteenth of an inch distant from the pupil of my, 
eye." 

3TE: Acheronta Atrat 
habitat Europe and A 



Improvements 



Y. 
1 



OU will note two h!g improvements in this 
issue of Amazing Stories. We have had some 
suggestions as to the quality of the paper used, 
and heeding the requests, we are beginning with. 
us issue to use a much better grade of paper. As 
:me goes on, still better paper will be used. 

Then the other Jay some one on the Pacific Coast: 
rrotc in and complained that, much as he liked 
lmazing Stories, it was rather difficult to read 
: because you had to hold the magazine in your 
and with a vice-like grip. The usual magazines, 
radically without exception, are staple-bound, 
-hich binding clamps the edge of the magazine so 
ghtly that when you lay it on the table in front of 
ou it will not stay open. 

We investigated the complaint, and found it to lie 
lost reasonable. We therefore took immediate ways 
nd means to do away with the old-fashioned binding, 
nd you now hold in your hand a magazine bound 
'ith the so-called "Perfect" binding. You will note 
lat you can lay this magazine down flat and it will 
:ay open. Nevertheless, the pages will not come off 
i6ily unless you tear them, out forcibly. 

The "Perfect" binding process is a very much more 
>:penslve method of binding, and only a few concerns 
i the country have the machinery necessary to do the 



"Perfect" binding. The machine itself is most inter- 
esting^ It costs, by the way, over $30,000.00. 

The process is as follows: When all the pages and 
all the signatures are gathered, the machine grasps 
them and cuts off the entire back of the magazine. 
This means that all the pages are loose. The pages 
that have been thus treated advance in the machine un- 
til they meet a glueing apparatus, whereby hot glue 
under pressure Is forced against the cut pages. The 
glue, as will be noticed, if a copy is carefully in- 
spected, impregnates the pages for a small distance. 
Traveling on, the magazine is then encased in a piece 
of stiff gauze, after which the cover is glued on. The 
magazine is then automatically compressed, and is 
soon ready for the freight car. 

All of this goes on with lightning-like" rapidity, so 
quickly, in fact, that the eye can hardly follow the 
magazine through the various processes, until a com- 
pletely bound issue emerges from this latest of 
wonders. The "Perfect" binder that binds Amazing 
Stories, is capable of turning out 250O copies per hour. 

This process is, of course, more expensive than the 
old type of stapling, but we believe that the readers 
of Amazing Stories are entitled to the latest tech- 
nical advances in magazine publishing and the conveni- 
ences thereby brought about. 



pAimtotheCmmiomeimTi 

" * {By- Jules Verne * m 



Auth ot:— "Around the World in 80 Days", "Off on a Comet", etc., etc. 




;, whicH is heaving us up, in company v 
But for tbe .:itra ordinary rapidity o 



360 



What Went Before 



£TT}ROFESSOR HARDWIGG, chemist, philoso- 
/—"pher, mineralogist, etc., while delighting in a 
-*• rare old book by a famous Iceland author, 
comes upon a mysterious parchment containing a 
secret message. The professor and his nephew 
Harry, have deciphered- it: "Descend into the crater 
of the Yokul of Sneffels, which the shade of Scar- 
tans covers before the kalends of Jtdy, audacious 
traveler, and you will reach the center of the earth. 
I did it. — Arne Saknussem." 

The professor and Harry (in the case of the lat- 
ter imieh against his will and better judgment) 
start for Iceland and Mount Sneffels, with the good 
wishes of Gretchen, the professor's ward and 
Harry's fianc6e. In Iceland, they -very fortunately 
obtain the services of Hans, a true Icelandic guide 
—calm, stolid and dependable. After numerous ad- 



actites and stalagmites, etc. In' their 
search for a spring, they hear and, tap a tremendous 
torrent of hot water, which for a time also acts as 
a guide to them in their descent. Then, to cap it 
all, Harry strays from his companions and in his 
attempt to rejoin them gets hopelessly lout. When 
he has about given up all hope of finding his com- 
panions or of being found, he hears voices and dis- 
covers a "whispering gallery." Thus they are able to 
communicate with each other and after some calcu- 
lation, they effect a reunion. 

They continue on their way until they come to an 
enormous expanse of water — the Central Sea. Hans 
succeeds in building a raft and they start off for an- 
other shore. But they meet some huge sea monsters 
among other dangers and after many days on the 



ventures and many interesting encounters and diffi- ™ ater cannot see W si 9 ns °f a shore - And then 



cull climbing, then reach. Mount Sneffels and descend 
into its crater. They go deeper and deeper, lower- 
ing themselves into the bigger shafts by means of 
sturdy ropes doubled over the rocks above. 

Once now, they were reassured of the validity 
of the mysterious message when they noticed the 
inscription "Arne Saknussem" on some rocks. Also, 
they see all kinds of rock formations, gypsum, stal- 



of a terrific hurricane and storm t 
very rudely brought back to a point on the same 
side from, which they started. There were lots of 
time lost, but they are not discouraged. While Hans 
is repairing the raft, Professor Hardwigg and 
Harry go off on a tour of further discovery and they 
are not disappointed. New wonders unfold them- 
selves at every turn. 



A Trip to the Center of the Earth 

JULES VERNE 



Part HI 



CHAPTER XXXVI 
What Is It? 



sembled to a certain extent, the mysterious person- 
age in one of Hoffmann's fantastic tales — the man 
who lost his shadow.* 

FOR a long and weary hour we tramped over After we had walked about a mile farther, we 
thfs great bed of bones. We advanced re- came to the edge of a vast forest, not, however, one 
gardless of everything, drawn on by ardent of the vast mushroom forests we had discovered 
curiosity. What other marvels did this great cavern near Port Gretchen. It was the glorious and wild 
contain — what other wondrous treasures for the vegetation of the tertiaiy period, in all its superb 
scientific man? My eyes were quite prepared for magnificence. Huge palms, of a species now un- 
any number of surprises, my imagination lived in known, superb palmacites — a genus of fossil palms 



expectation of something 
new and wonderful. 

The borders of the 



great -Central Ocean had J ULES !&****!£ s " a * 

~ , . , . -i issue. II is possible thai 

tor some time disappeared - ■ 



behind the hills that 
scattered over the ground 
occupied by the plain of 
bones. The imprudent 
and enthusiastic Profes- 
sor, who did not care 
whether Iib lost himself or 
not, hurried me forward. 
W e advanced silently, WS^^BHSI 
bathed in waves of elec- 
tric fluid. The light illumined equally the sides of 
every hill and rock. The appearance presented was 
that of a tropical country at mid-day in summer — 
in the midst of the equatorial regions and under the 
vertical rays of the sun. The rocks, the distant 
mountains, some confused masses of far-off forests, 
assumed a weird and mysterious aspect under this 



is concluded in litis 
, Air readers may find 
fault with the vehicle that Verne chose to bring back the 
travelers from the earth's interior. But it should be re- 
membered that bach they had to come, and we know of no 
better method than the one which Vertic chose. At least it 
is logical, although the chances arc that our heroes would 
not have survived such an ordeal. But we should not be 
too critical on stick points, for the story certainly is and 
remains one of the great classics of scientific! ion. Some 
of the most breathless and hair-raising episodes occur in 
the closing chapters. 



from the coal formation- 
pines, yews, cypress, and 
conifers or cone-bearing 
trees, the whole bound to- 
gether by an inextricable 
and complicated mass of 
creeping plants. A beau- 
tiful carpet of mosses and 
ferns grew beneath the 
trees. Pleasant brooks 
murmured beneath um- 
brageous boughs, little 
■ worthy of this name, for 

■Bwa w BWrTwwfiiirigaa no shade did they give. 
Upon their borders grew 
small tree-like shrubs, sueh as are seen in the hot 
countries on our own inhabited globe. 

The one thing wanted to these plants, these 
shrubs, these trees — was color! Forever deprived 
of the vivifying warmth of the sun, they were vapid 
and colorless. All shade was lost in one uniform 
tint, of a brown and faded character. The leaves 



equal distribution of the luminous fluid! We re- were wholly devoid of green, and the flowers, so 



*Error. The author was Adelbert van Chamisso. 



361 



362 



AMAZING STORIES 



numerous during the tertiary period which gave 
them birth, were without color and without per- 
fume, something like paper discolored by long ex- 
posure to the atmosphere. 

A Herd of Mastodons 
FY uncle ventured beneath the gigantic groves. 
I I followed him, though not without a certain 
_i.amount of apprehension. Since nature had 
shown herself capable of producing such stupendous 
vegetable productions, why might we not meet with 
animals as large, and therefore dangerous. 

Suddenly I stopped short and restrained my 
uncle. The extreme diffuseness of the light en- 
abled me to see the smallest objects in the distant 
copse. I thought I saw — no, I really did see with 
my own eyes,— immense, gigantic animals moving 
about under the mighty trees. Yes, they were 
truly gigantic animals, a whole herd of mastodons, 
not fossils, but living. 

Yes, I could see these enormous elephants, whose 
trunks were tearing down large boughs, and work- 
ing in and out the trees like a legion of serpents. 
I could hear the sounds of the mighty tusks up- 
rooting huge trees! The boughs crackled, and 
whole masses of leaves and green branches went 
down the capacious throats of these terrible mon- 
sters ! 

That wondrous dream, when I saw the ante-his- 
torical times revivified, when the tetiary and quart- 
ernary periods passed before me, was now realized ! 
And there we were alone, far down in the bowels 
of the earth, at the mercy of its ferocious inhabi- 
tants! 

My uncle paused, full of wonder and astonish- 
ment. "Come," he said at last, when hia first sur- 
prise was over, "come along, my boy, and let us see 
them nearer." 

"No," replied I, restraining his efforts to drag 
me forward, "we are wholly without arms. What 
should we do in the midst of that flock of gigantic 
quadrupeds? Come away, uncle, I implore you. No 
human creature can with impunity brave the feroc- 
ious anger of these monsters." 

"No human creature," said my uncle, suddenly 
lowering his voice to a mysterious whisper, "you 
are mistaken my dear Harry. Look! look yonder! 
It seems to me that I behold a human being — a be- 
ing like ourselves — a man !" 

A Dream of Prehistoric Ages 

I LOOKED, shrugging my shoulders, and decided 
to push incredulity to its very last limits. But 
whatever might have been my wish, I was com- 
pelled to yield to the weight of ocular demonstration. 
Yes — not more than a quarter of a mile off, leaning 
against the trunk of an enormous tree, was a hu- 
man being — a Proteus of these subterranean re- 
gions, a new son of Neptune keeping this innumer- 
able herd of mastodons. ImTtianis pecoris cu3tos, 
immanior ipse! (The keeper of gigantic cattle, him- 
self a giant!) Yes — it was no longer a fossil whose 
corpse we had raised from the ground in the great 
cemetery, but a giant capable of guiding and driv- 
ing these prodigious monsters. His height was 
above twelve feet. His head, as big as the head of 
a buffalo, was lost in a mane of matted hair. It 



was indeed a huge mane, like those which belonged 
to the elephants of the earlier ages of the world. 
In his hand was a branch of a tree, which served 
as a crook for this antediluvian shepherd. 

We remained profoundly still, speechless with 
surprise. But we might at any moment be seen by 
him. Nothing remained for us but instant flight. 
"Come, come!" I cried, dragging my uncle along; 
and, for the first time, he made no resistance to my 
wishes. 

A quarter of an hour later we were far away 
from that terrible monster! Now that I think of the 
matter calmly, and reflect upon it dispassionately; 
now that months, years, have passed since this 
strange and unnatural adventure befell us— what 
am I to think, what am I to believe? 

No, it is utterly impossible! Our ears must have 
deceived us, and our eyes have cheated us ! we have 
not seen what we believed we had seen. No hu- 
man being could by any possibility have existed in 
that subterranean world! No generation of men 
could inhabit the lower caverns of the globe with- 
out taking note of those who peopled the surface, 
without communication with them. It was folly, 
folly, folly ! nothing else ! 

I am rather inclined to admit the existence of 
some animal resembling in structure the human 
race — of some monkey of the first geological 
epochs, like that discovered by M. Lartet in the os- 
siferous deposits of Sansan. But this animal, or 
being, whichsoever it was, surpassed in height all 
things known to modern science. Never mind. 
However unlikely it may be, it might have been' 
a monkey — but a man, a living man, and with him ai 
whole generation of gigantic animals, buried in the 
entrails of the earth — it was too monstrous to be 
believed ! 

CHAPTER XXXVII 
The Mysterious Dagger 

DURING this time, we had left the bright arid 
transparent forest far behind us. We 
were mute with astonishment, overcome by 
a kind of feeling which wa3 next door to apathy. We 
kept running in spite of ourselves. It was a per- 
fect flight, which resembled one of those horrible 
sensations we sometimes meet with in our dreams. 

Instinctively we made our way towards the Cen- 
tral Sea, and I cannot now tell what wild thoughts 
passed through my mind, nor of what follies I 
might have been guilty, but for a very serious pre- 
occupation which brought me back to practical life. 
Though I was aware that we were treading on a 
soil quite new to us, I, every now and then noticed 
certain aggregation of rock, the shape of which 
forcibly reminded me of those near Port Gretchen. 

This confirmed, moreover, the indications of the 
compass and our extraordinary and unlooked-for, as 
well as involuntary, return to the north of thisj 
great Central Sea. It was so like our starting point, 
that I could scarcely doubt the reality of our posi- 
tion. Streams and cascades, fell in hundreds over 
the numerous projections of the rocks. I actually 
thought I could see our faithful and monotonous 
Hans and the wonderful grotto in which I have come 
back to life after my tremendous!, fall. ■-' 



A TRIP TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 



363 



Then, as we advanced still farther, the position" 
of the cliffs, the appearance of a stream, the unex- 
pected profile of a rock, would throw me again into 
a state of bewildering doubt. After some time, I 
explained my state of mental indecision to my 
uncle. He confessed to a similar feeling of hesita- 
tion. He was totally unable to make up his mind 
in the midst of this extraordinary but uniform 
panorama. 

"There can be no doubt," I insisted, "that we 
have not landed exactly at the place whence we 
first took our departure; but the tempest has 
brought us above our starting point. I think, there- 
fore, that if we follow the coast we shall once more 
find Port Gretchen." 

"In that case," cried my uncle, "it is useless to 
continue our exploration. The very best thing we 
can do is to make our way back to the raft. Are 
you quite sure, Harry, that you are not mistaken?" 

"It is difficult," was my reply, "to come to any 
decision, for all these rocks are exactly alike. There 
is no marked difference between them. At the same 
time, the impression on my mind is, that I recognize 
the promontory at the foot of which our worthy 
Hans constructed the raft. We are, I am nearly 
convinced, near the little port; if this is not it." 
I added, carefully examining a creek which ap- 
peared singularly familiar to my mind. 

"My dear Harry — if this were the case, we 
should find traces of our own footsteps, some signs 
of our passage; and I can really see nothing to indi- 
cate our having passed this way." 

A Rusty Dagger is Found Deep in the Earth 

[ see something," I cried, in an impetu- 
3. tone of voice, as I rushed forward and 
' eagerly picked up something which shone 
in the sand under my feet. 

"What is it?" cried the astonished and bewildered 
Pi-ofessor, 

"This," was my reply. And I handed to my 
startled relative a rusty dagger, of singular shape. 

"What made you bring with you so useless a 
weapon?" he exclaimed. "It was needlessly hamp- 
ering yourself." 

"I bring it? — It is quite new to me. I never saw it 
before — are you sure it is not out of your collec- 
tion?" 

"Not that I know of," said the Professor, puzzled. 
"I have no recollection of the circumstance. It was 
never my property." 

"This is very extraordinary," I said, musing over 
the novel and singular incident. 

"Not at all. There is a very simple explanation, 
Harry. The Icelanders are known to keep up the 
use of these antiquated weapons, and this must have 
belonged to Hans, who has let it fall without know- 
ing it." 

I shook my head. That dagger had never been 
in the possession of the pacific and taciturn Hans. 
I knew him and his habits too well. "What can it 
be — unless it be the weapon of some antediluvian 
warrior," I continued, "of some living man, a con- 
temporary of that mighty shepherd from whom we 
have just escaped? But no — mystery upon mystery 
— this is no weapon of the stone epoch, nor even 
of the bronze period. It is made of excellent steel 



H-£ ous ton 

\J eagerly 



It Is Saknussem's Dagger 

ERE I could finish my sentence, my uncle stop- 
ped me short from entering upon a whole 
train of theories, and spoke in his most cold 
and decided tone of voice. "Calm yourself, my dear 
boy, and endeavor to use your reason. This weapon, 
upon which we have fallen so unexpectedly, is a true 
Hague, one of those worn by gentlemen in their 
belts during the sixteenth century. Its use was to 
give the coup de grace, the final blow, to the foe who 
would not surrender. It is clearly of Spanish work- 
manship. It belongs neither to you, nor to me, nor 
the eiderdown hunter, nor to any of the living be- 
ings who may still exist so marvelously in the in- 
terior of the eai'th." 

"What can you mean, uncle?" I said, now lost in 
a host of surmises. 

"Look closely at it," he continued ; "these jagged 
edges were never made by the resistance of human 
blood and bone. The blade is covered with a reg- 
ular coating of iron-mould and rust, which is not a 
day old, not a year old not a century old, but much 
more — —" 

The Professor began to get quite excited, ac- 
cording to custom, and was allowing himself to be 
carried away by his fertile imagination. I could 
have said something. He stopped me. "Harry," he 
cried, "we are now on the verge of a great discov- 
ery. This blade of a dagger you have so marvelous- 
ly discovered, after being abandoned upon the sand 
for more than a hundred, two hundred, even three 
hundred years, has been indented by someone en- 
deavoring to carve an inscription on these rocks." 

"But this poignard never got here of itself," I 
exclaimed, "it could not have twisted itself. Some- 
one, therefore, must have preceded us upon the 
shores of this extraordinary sea." 

"Yes, a man." 

"But what man has been sufficiently desperate to 
do such a thing." 

"A man who has somewhere written his name 
with this very dagger — a man who has endeavored 
once more to indicate the right road to the interior 
of the earth. Let us look around, my boy. You 
know not the importance of your singular and happy 
discovery." 

Prodigiously interested, we walked along the wall 
of rock, examining the smallest fissures, which 
might finally expand into the much wished for gully 
or shaft. We at last reached a spot where the shore 
became extremely narrow. The sea almost bathed 
the foot of the rocks, which were here very lofty 
and steep. There was scarcely a path wider than two 
yards at any point. At last, under a huge 'over- 
hanging rock, we discovered the entrance of a dark 
and gloomy tunnel. 

There, on a square tablet of granite, which had 
been smoothed by rubbing it with another stone, 
we could see two mysterious, and much worn letters, 
the two initials of the bold and extraordinary trav- 
eler who bad preceded us on our adventurous jour- 
ney. 

1LM Wkh¥rfT 

"A. S-," cried my uncle; "you see I was right. 
Arne Saknusaem, always Arne Saknussem!" 



364 



AMAZING STORIES 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 



No Outlet— Blasting the Rock 

VER since the commencement of our marvel- 
ous journey, I had experienced many sur- 
/ prises, had suffered from many illusions. I 
thought that I was case-hardened against all sur- 
prises and could neithersee nor hear anything to 
amaze me again. However, when I saw these two 
letters, which had heen engraved three hundred 
years before, I stood fixed in an attitude of mute 
surprise. > 

Not only was there the signature of the learned 
and enterprising alchemist written in the rock, but 
I held in my hand the identical instrument with 
which he had laboriously engraved it. It was im- 
possible, without showing an amount of incredulity 
ecarcely becoming a sane man, to deny the existence 
of the traveler, and the reality of that voyage which 
I believed all along to have been a myth — the mysti- 
fication of some fertile brain. 

While these reflections were passing through my 
mind, my uncle, the Professor, gave way to an ac- 
cess of feverish and poetical excitement. "Wonder- 
ful and glorious Genius, great Saknussem," he 
cried, "you have omitted no resourse to show to 
other mortals the way into the interior of our 
mighty globe, and your fellow-creatures can find 
the trail left by your illustrious footsteps, three 
hundred years ago. You have been careful to secure 
for others the contemplation of these wonders and 
marvels of creation. Your name engraved at every 
important stage of your glorious journey, leads the 
hopeful traveler direct to the mighty discovery to 
which you devoted such energy and courage. The 
audacious traveler, who shall follow your footsteps 
to the last, will doubtless find your initials engraved 
with your own hand upon the center of the earth. 
I will be that audacious traveler — 7, too, will sign 
my name upon the very same spot, upon the central 
granite stone of this wondrous work of the Creator. 
But in justice to your devotion, and to your being 
the first to indicate the road, let this Cape, seen by 
you upon the shores of this sea discovered by you, 
be called for all time, Cape Saknussem." 

This is what I heard, and I began to be roused to 
the pitch of enthusiasm indicated by those words. 
A fierce excitement roused me. I forgot everything. 
The dangers of the voyage, and the perils of the re- 
turn journey, were now as nothing! What another 
man had done in ages past, could, I felt be done 
again; I was determined to do it myself, and now 
nothing that man had accomplished appeared to me 
impossible. "Forward — forward/' I cried in a 
burst of genuine and hearty enthusiasm. 

Where the Raft Brought Them 

I HAD already started in the direction of the 
somber and gloomy gallery, when the Profes- 
sor stopped me ; he, the man so rash and hasty, 
he, the man so easily roused to the highest pitch of 
anthusiasm, checked me, and asked me to be patient 
and show more calm, "Let us return to our good 
friend, Hans," he said; "we will then bring the raft 
down to this place." 

I must say that though I at once yielded to my 
uncle's request; it was not without dissatisfaction, 
and I hastened along the rocks of that wonderful 



coast. "Do you know, my dear uncle," I said, as 
we walked along, "that we have been singularly 
helped by a concurrence of circumstances, right up 
to this very moment." 

"So you begin to see it, do you, Harry?" said the 
Professor, with a smile. 

"Doubtless," I responded, "and strangely enough, 
even the tempest has been the means of putting us 
on the right road. Blessings on the tempest! It 
brought us safely back to the very spot from which 
fine weather would have driven us forever. Sup- 
posing we had succeeded in reaching the southern 
and distant shores of this extraordinary sea, what 
would have become of us? The name of Saknussem 
would never have appeared to us, and at this mo- 
ment we should have been cast away upon an in- 
hospitable coast, probably without an outlet." 

"Yes, Harry, my boy, there is certainly some- 
thing providential in that wandering at the mercy 
of wind and waves towards the south; we have come 
back exactly north; and what is better still, we 
fall upon this great discovery. There is something 
in it which is far beyond my comprehension. The 
coincidence is unheard-of, marvelous!" 

"What matter! It is not our duty to explain 
facts, but to make the best possible use of them." 

"Doubtless, my boy; but if you will allow me 
" said the really-delighted Professor. 

A Discussion of Geography 
<« T~~* XCUSE me, sir, but I see exactly how it will 
&-^ be; we shall. take the northern route; we 
I J shall pass under the northern regions of 
Europe, under Sweden, under Russia, under Siberia, 
and who knows here — instead of burying ourselves 
under the burning plains and deserts of Africa, or 
beneath the mighty waves of the ocean; and that is 
all, at this stage of our journey, that I care to know. 
Let us advance, and Heaven will be our guide!" 

"Yes, Harry, you are right; quite right; all is 
for the \best. Let us abandon this horizontal sea, 
which could never have led to anything satisfactory. 
We shall descend, descend, and everlastingly de- 
scend. Do you know, my dear boy, that to reach the 
interior of the earth we have only five thousand 
miles to travel!" 

"Bah!" I cried, carried away by a burst of en- 
thusiasm, "the distance is scarcely worth .speaking 
about. The thing is to make a start." 

My wild, mad, and incoherent speeches continued 
until we rejoined our patient and phlegmatic guide. 
All was, we found, prepared for an immediate de- 
parture. There was not a single parcel out of it3 
proper place. We all took up our posts on the raft, 
and the sail being hoisted, Hans received his direc- 
tions, and guided the frail barque towards Cape 
Saknussem, as we had definitely named it. 

The wind was very unfavorable to a craft that 
was unable to sail close to the wind. We were con- 
tinually reduced to pushing ourselves forward by 
means of poles. On several occasions the rocks ran 
far out into deep water and we were compelled to 
make a long round. At last, after three long and 
weary hours of navigation, that is to say, about six 
o'clock in the evening, we found a place at which 
we could land. 

I jumped on shore first. In my present state of 
excitement and enthusiasm, I was always first. My 



A TRIP TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 



36S 



uncle and th? Icelander followed. The voyage from 
the port to this point of the sea had by no means 
calmed me. It had rather produced the opposite 
effect. I even proposed to burn our vessel, that is 
to destroy our raft, in order to completely cut off 
our retreat. But my uncle sternly opposed this wild 
project- I began to think him particularly luke- 
warm and unenthusiastic. "At any rate, my dear 
uncle," I said, "let us start without delay." 

"Yes, my boy, I am quite as eager to do so as you 
can be. But, in the first place, let us examine this 
mysterious gallery, in' order to find if we shall need 
to prepare and mend our ladders." 

My uncle now began to see to the efficiency of our 
Ruhmkorf's coil, which would doubtless soon be 
needed; the raft, securely fastened to a rock, was 
left alone. The opening into the new gallery was not 
twenty paces distant from the spot. Our little troop, 
with myself at the head, advanced. 

Their Journey Blocked by a Great Hock 
"SHE orifice, which was almost circular, pre- 
sented a diameter of about five feet; the som- 
ber tunnel was cut in the living rock, and 
coated on the inside by the different material which 
had once passed through it in a state of fusion. The 
lower part was about level with the water, so that 
we were able to penetrate to the interior without 
difficulty. We followed an almost horizontal direc- 
tion ! when, at the end of about a dozen paces, our 
further advance was checked by the interposition of 
an enormous block of granite rock. 

"Accursed stone!" I cried, furiously, on perceiv- 
ing that we were stopped by what seemed an insur- 
mountable obstacle. 

In vain we looked to the right, in vain we looked 
to the left; in vain examined it above and below. 
There existed no passage, no sign of any other tun- 
nel. I experienced the most bitter and painful dis- 
appointment. So enraged was I that I would not 
admit the reality of-any obstacle, I stooped to my 
knees ; I looked under the mass of stone. No hole, 
no interstice. I then looked above. The same bar- 
rier of granite ! Hans, with the lamp, examined the 
sides of the tunnel in every direction. But all in 
vain ! It was necessary to renounce all hope of pass- 
ing through. 

I had seated myself upon the ground. My uncle 
walked angrily and hopelessly up and down. He was 
evidently desperate. "But," I cried, after some mo- 
ments' thought, "what about Ame Saknussem?" 

■ "You are right," replied my uncle, "he can never 
have been checked by a lump of rock." 

"No — ten thousand times no," I cried, with ex- 
treme vivacity. "This huge lump of rock, in conse- 
quence of some concussion, has in some unexpected 
way closed up the passage. Many and many years 
have passed away since the return of Saknussem, 
and the fall of this huge block of granite. Is it not 
quite evident that this gallery was formerly the out- 
let for the pent-up lava in the interior of the earth, 
and that these eruptive matters then circulated 
freely? Look at these recent fissures in the granite 
roof; it is evidently formed of pieces of enormous 
stone, placed here as if by the hand of a giant, who 
had worked to make a strong and substantial arch. 
One day, after an unusually heavy shock, the vast 
rock which stands in our way, fell through to a 



level with the soil and has barred our further pro- 
gress. We are right, then, "in thinking that this is 
an unexpected obstacle, with which Saknussem did 
not meet; and if we do not upset it in some way, we 
are unworthy of following in the footsteps of the 
great discoverer, and incapable of finding our way 
to the Center of the Earth !" 

In this wild way I addressed my uncle. The zeal 
of the Professor, his earnest longing for success, 
had become part and parcel of my being. I wholly 
forgot the past; I utterly despised the future. Noth- 
ing existed for me upon the surface of this spheroid 
in'the bosom of which I was engulfed, no towns, no 
country, no Hamburg, no Konigstrasse, not even my 
poor Gretchen, who by this time would believe me 
utterly lost in the interior of the earth ! 

"Well," cried by uncle, roused to enthusiasm by 
my words, "let us go to work with pick-axes, with 
crowbars, with anything that comes to hand — but 
down with these terrible wails." 

"It is far too tough and too big to be destroyed by 
a pick-ax or crowbar," I replied. 

"What then ?". 

"As I said, it is useless to think of overcomiiii; 
such a difficulty by means of ordinary tools." 

"What then?" 

"What else but gunpowder, a subterranean mine? 
Let us blow up the obstacle that stands in our way." 

"Gunpowder I" 

"Yes; all we have to do is to get rid of this paltry 
obstacle." 

"To work, Hans, to work!" cried the Professor. 
The Icelander went back to the raft, and soon re- 
turned with a huge crowbar, with which he began 
to dig a hole in the rock, which was to serve as a 
mine. It was by no means a slight task. It was 
necessary for our purpose to make'a cavity large 
enough to hold fifty pounds of fulminating gun cot- 
ton, the expansive power of which is four times as 
great as that of ordinary gunpowder. 

I had now roused myself to an almost miraculous 
state of excitement. While Hans was at work, 1 ac- 
tively assisted my uncle to prepare a long w:ck, 
made from damp gunpowder, the mass of which we 
finally enclosed in a bag of linen. "We are bound t.n 
go through," I cried enthusiastically. 

"We are bound to go through," responded the 
Professor, tapping me on the back. 

At midnight, our work as miners was completely 
finished; the charge of fulminating cotton was 
thrust into the hollow, and the match, which we had 
made of considerable length, was ready. A spark 
wa3 now sufficient to ignite this formidable engine, 
and to blow the rock to atoms ! 

"We will now rest until to-morrow." 

It was absolutely necessary to resign myself to 
my fate, and to consent to wait for the explosion 
for six weary hours ! 

CHAPTER XXXIX 
The Explosion and Its Results 

THE next day, which was the twenty-seventh 
of August, was a date celebrated in our won- 
drous, subterranean journey. 
I never think of it even now, but I shudder with 
horror. My heart beats wildly at the very memory 
of that awful day. From this time forward, our; 



366 



AMAZING STORIES 



reason, our judgment, our human ingenuity, had 
nothing to do with the course of events. We were 
about to become the playthings of the great pheno- 
mena of the earth ! 

At Six o'clock we were all up and ready. The 
dreaded moment was arriving when we were about 
to seek an opening into the interior of the earth by 
means of gun-powder. What would be the conse- 
quences of breaking through the crust of the 
earth, 

I begged that it might be my duty to Set fire to 
the mine. I looked upon it as an honor. This task 
once performed, I could rejoin my friends" upon the 
raft, which had not been unloaded. As soon as we 
were all ready, we were to sail away to some dis- 
tance to avoid the consequences of the explosion, 
the effects of which would certainly not be concen- 
trated in the interior of the earth. The slow match 
we calculated to burn for about ten minutes, more 
or less, before it reached the chamber in which the 
great body of powder was confined. I should there- 
fore have plenty of time to reach the raft and put 
off to a safe distance. 

After a hearty repast, my uncle and the hunter- 
guide embarked on board the raft, while I remained 
alone upon the desolate shore. I was provided with 
a lantern which was to enable me to set fire to the 
wick of the infernal machine. "Go, my boy," said 
my uncle, "and Heaven be with you. But come back 
as soon as you can. I shall be all impatience." 

"Be easy on that matter," I replied, "there is no 
fear of my delaying on the road." Having said this, 
I advanced toward the opening of the sombre gal- 
lery. My heart beat wildly. I opened my lantern 
and seized the extremity of the wick. 

The Professor, who was looking on, held his 
chronometer in his hand. "Are you ready?" cried 
he. 

"Quite ready." ^ 

"Well, then, fire away!" I hastened to put the 
light to the wick, which crackled and sparkled, hiss- 
ing and spitting like a serpent; then, running as 
fast as I could, I returned to the shore. 

"Get on board my lad, and you, Hans, shove off!" 
cried my uncle. By a vigorous application of his 
pole Hans sent us flying over the water. The raft 
was quite twenty fathoms distant. 

It was a moment of palpitating interest, of deep 
anxiety. My uncle, the Professor, never took his 
eyes off the chronometer. "Only five minutes more," 
he said in a low tone, "only four, only three." 

My pulse went a hundred to the minute. I could 
hear my heart beating. 

"Only two, one! Now, then, mountains of gran- 
ite, crumble beneath the power of man !" 

iThe Explosion 

WHAT happened after that? As to the ter- 
rific roar of the explosion, I do not think 
I heard it. But the form of the rocks com- 
pletely changed in my eyes — they seemed to be 
drawn aside like a curtain. I saw fathomless, a 
bottomless abyss, which yawned beneath the turgid 
waves. The sea, which seemed suddenly to have 
gone mad, then became one great mountainous mass, 
upon the top of which the raft rose perpendicularly. 
We were all thrown down. The light gave place 
to the most profound obscurity. Then I felt all 



solid support give way not to my feet, but to the 
raft itself. I thought it was going bodily down a 
tremendous well. I tried to speak, to question my 
uncle. Nothing could be heard but the roaring of 
the mighty waves. We clung together in utter 
silence. 

Despite the awful darkness, despite the noise, the 
surprise, -the emotion, I thoroughly understood what 
had happened. Beyond the rock which had been 
blown up, there existed a mighty abyss. The ex- 
plosion had caused a kind of earthquake in this 
soil, broken by fissures and rents. The gulf, thus 
suddenly thrown open, was about to swallow the 
inland sea, which, transformed into a mighty tor- 
rent, was dragging us with it. One only idea filled 
my mind. We were utterly and completely lost! 

One hour, two hours — what more I cannot say, 
passed in this manner. We sat close together, el- 
bow touching elbow, knee touching knee ! We held 
one another's hands not to be thrown off the raft. 
We were subjected to the most violent shocks, 
whenever our sole dependence, a frail wooden raft, 
struck against the rocky sides of the channel. 
Fortunately for us, these concussions became less 
and less frequent, which made me fancy that the 
gallery was getting wider and wider. There could 
be no doubt that we had chanced upon the road once 
followed by Saknussem, but instead of going down 
in a proper manner, we had, through our own im- 
prudence, drawn a whole sea with us! 

These ideas presented themselves to my mind in a 
very vague and obscure manner. I felt rather than 
reasoned. I put my ideas together only confusedly, 
while spinning along like a man going down a 
waterfall. To judge by the air which, as it were, 
whipped my face, we niust have been rushing at a 
perfectly lightning rate. 

To attempt under these circumstancse to light a 
torch was simply impossible, and the last remains 
of our electric machine, of our Euhmkorfs coil, 
had been destroyed during the fearful explosion. I 
was therefore very much confused to see at last a 
bright light shining close to me. The calm coun- 
tenance of the guide seemed to gleam upon me. The 
clever and patient hunter had succeeded in lighting 
the lantern ; and though, in the keen and thorough 
draught, the flame flickered and vacillated and was 
very nearly put out, it served partially to dissipate 
the awful obscurity. 

The gallery into which we had entered was very 
wide. I was, therefore, quite right in that part of 
my conjecture. The insufficient light did not allow 
us to see both of the walls at the same time. The 
slope of waters, which was carrying us away, was 
far greater than that of the most rapid river. The 
whole surface of the stream seemed to be composed 
of liquid arrows, darted forward with extreme vio- 
lence- and power. I can give no idea of the impres- 
sion it made upon me. -a 

All Instruments Lost, Except the Compass and 
Chronometer 

THE raft, at times, caught in certain whirl- 
pools, and rushed forward, yet turned on it- 
self all the time. How it did not upset I shall 
never be able to understand. When it approached 
the sides of the gallery, I took care to throw upon 
them the light of the lantern,, and I was able to, 



A TRIP TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 



367 



jiidge of the rapidity of motion by looking at the 
projecting masses of rock, which as soon as seen 
were again invisible. I believe we were going at a 
rate of not !ess than a hundred miles an hour. 

My uncle and I looked at one another with wild 
and haggard eyes; we clung convulsively to the 
stump of the mast, which, at the moment when the 
catastrophe took place, had snapped short off. We 
turned our hacks as much as possible to the wind, 
in order not to be stifled by a rapidity of motion 
which nothing human could face and live. 

And still the long monotonous hours went on. The 
situation did not change in the least, though a dis- 
covery I suddenly made seemed to complicate it very 
much. When we had slightly recovered our equili- 
brium, I proceeded to examine our cargo. I then 
made the unsatisfactory discovery that the greater 
part of it had utterly disappeared. I became 
alarmed, and determined to discover what were 
our resources. My heart beat at the idea, but it was 
absolutely necessary to know on what we had to 
depend. With this in view, I took the lantern and 
looked around. 

Of all our former collection of nautical and phil- 
osophical instruments there remained only the 
chronometer and the compass. The ladders and 
ropes were reduced to a small piece of rope fastened 
to the stump of the mast. Not a pickax, not a crow- 
bar, not a hammer, and, far worse than all, no food 
• — not enough for one day ! | 

This discovery was a prelude to a certain and 
horrible death. Seated gloomily on the raft, clasp- 
ing the stump of the mast mechanically, I thought 
of all I had read as to sufferings from starvation. 
I remembered everything that history had taught 
me on the subject, and I shuddered at the remem- 
brance of the agonies to be endured. Maddened at 
the prospect, I persuaded myself that I must be mis- 
taken. I examined the cracks in the raft; I poked 
between the joints and beams; I examined every 
possible hole and corner. The result was — simply 
nothing ! Our stock of provisions consisted of noth- 
ing but a piece of dry meat and some soaked and 
half -mouldy biscuits. 

I gazed around me scared and frightened. I could 
not understand the awful truth. And yet of what 
consequence was it in regard to any new danger? 
Supposing that we bad had provisions for months, 
and even for years, how could we ever get out of the 
awful abyss into which we were being hurled by 
the irresistible torrent we had let loose? Why should 
we trouble ourselves about the sufferings and tor- 
tures to be endured from hunger, when death 
stared us in the face under so many other swifter 
and perhaps even more horrid forms? 

An Alarming Ascent Through a Great ShaEt 

}HAD the greatest mind to reveal all to my 
uncle, to explain to him the extraordinary 
and wretched position to which we were re- 
duced, and in order that, between the two, we might 
make a calculation as to the exact space of time 
which remained for us to live. It was, it appeared to 
me, the only thing to be done. But I had the courage 
to hold my tongue, to gnaw at my entrails like the 
Spartan boy. I wished to leave him all bis coolness. 
At this moment, the light of the lantern slowly 



burnt to an end. The obscurity became absolute. It 
was no longer possible to see through the impene- 
trable darkness! There was one torch left, but it 
was impossible to keep it alight. Then, like a child, 
I shut my eyes, that I might not see the darkness. 

After a great lapse of time, the rapidity of our 
journey increased. I could feel it by the rush of 
air upon my face. The slope of the waters was ex- 
cessive. I began to feel that we were no longer go- 
ing down a slope; we were falling. I felt as one does 
in a dream, going down bodily— falling ; falling; 
falling I 

I felt that the hands of my uncle and Hans were 
vigorously clasping my arms. Suddenly, after a lapse 
of time scarcely appreciable, I felt something like a 
shock. The raft had not struck a bard body, but 
had suddenly been checked in its course. A water- 
spout, a liquid column of water, fell upon us. I was 
suffocating. I was being drowned. Still the sud- 
den inundation did not last. In a few seconds I felt 
myself once more able to breathe. My uncle and 
Hans pressed my arms, and the raft carried us all 
three away. 



CHAPTER XL 
The Ape Gigans 
T is difficult for me to determine what was the 



I 



the real time, but I should suppose, by after 
calculation, that it must have been ten at night. 

I lay in a stupor, a half dream, during which I 
saw visions of astounding character. Monsters of 
the deep were side by side with the mighty elephan- 
tine shepherd. Gigantic fish and animals formed 
strange conjunctions. It seemed in my vision that 
the raft took a sudden turn, whirled round; entered 
another tunnel; this time illumined in a most sing- 
ular manner. The roof was formed of porous stal- 
actite, through which a moon-lit vapor appeared to 
pass, casting its brilliant light upon our gaunt and 
haggard figures. The bght increased as we ad- 
vanced, while the roof ascended; until at last, we 
were once more in a kind of water cavern, the lofty 
dome of which disappeared in a luminous cloud! 
My uncle and the guide moved as men in a dream. 
I was afraid to waken them, knowing the danger of 
such a sudden start. I seated myself beside them 
to watch. 

As I did so, I became aware of something moving 
in the distance, which at once fascinated my eyes. 
It was floating, apparently, upon the surface of the 
water, advancing by means of what at first appeared 
paddles. I looked with glaring eyes. One glance 
told me that it was something monstrous. 

But what? It was the great Shark Crocodile of 
the early writers on geology. About the size of an, 
ordinary whale, with hideous jaws and two gigantic 
eyes, it advanced. Its eyes fixed on me with terrible 
sternness. Some indefinite warning told me that it 
had marked me for its own. 

I attempted to rise — to escape, no matter where, 
but my knees shook under me; my limbs-trembled 
violently; I almost lost my senses. And still the 
mighty monster advanced. My uncle and the guide 
made no effort to save themselves. With a strange 
noise, like none other I had ever heard, the beast 
ifel], and at last went out ! The wick had wholly, came on. His jaws were at least seven feet apart. 



368 



AMAZING STORIES 



and his distended mouth looked large enough to 
have swallowed a boatful of men. 

We were about ten feet distant, when I discov- 
ered that much as hia body resembled that of a 
crocodile, his mouth was wholly that of a shark. 
His twofold nature now became apparent. To 
snatch us up at mouthful it was necessary for him 
to turn on his back, which motion necessarily 
caused his legs to kick up helplessly in the air. I 
actually laughed even in the very jaws of death! 

But next minute, with a wild cry, I darted away 
into the interior of the cavern, leaving my unhappy 
comrades to their fate! This cavern was deep and 
dreary. After about a hundred yards, I paused and 
looked around. The whole floor, composed of sand 
and malachite, wa3 strewn with bones, freshly 
gnawed bones of reptiles and fish, with a mixture of 
mamalia. My very soul grew sick as my body shud- 
dered with horror. I had truly, according to the old 
proverb, fallen out of the frying-pan into the lire. 
Some beast larger and more ferocious even than, 
the Shark-Crocodile inhabited this den. 

What could I do? The mouth of the cave was 
guarded by one ferocious monster, the interior was 
inhabited by something too hideaus to contemplate. 
Flight was impossible! Suddenly a groaning, as of 
fifty bears in a fight, fell upon my ears — hisses, 
spitting, moaning, hideous to hear — and then I 
|aw— r 

A Dreadful Dream of the Anti-DUuvian Gorilla 

NEVER, were ages to pass over my head, shall 
I forget the horrible apparition. It was the 
Ape Gigans, the anti-diluvian Gorilla! four- 
teen feet high, covered with coarse hair, of a black- 
ish brown, it advanced. Its arms were as long as it3 
body, while its legs were prodigious. It had thick, 
long, and sharply-pointed teeth — like a mammoth 
saw. It struck its breast as it came on smelling and 
sniffing, reminding me of the stories we read in our 
early childhood of giants who ate the flesh of men 
and little boys. 

Suddenly it stopped. My heart beat wildly, for I 
was conscious that, somehow or other, the fearful 
monster had amelt me out and was peering about 
with his hideous eyes to try and discover my where- 
abouts. I gave myself up for lost. No hope of safety 
or escape seemed to remain. 

At this moment, just as my eyes appeared to close 
in death, there came a strange noise from the en- 
trance of the cave; and turning, the Gorilla evi- 
dently recognized some enemy more worthy his pro- 
digious sine and strength. It was the huge Shark- 
Crocodile, which perhaps having disposed of my 
friends, was coming in search of further prey. 

The Gorilla placed himself on the defensive, and 
clutching a bone some seven or eight feet in length, 
a perfect club, aimed a deadly blow at the hideous 
beast, which reared upwards and fell with all its 
weight upon its adversary. A terrible combat en- 
sued. The struggle was awful and ferocious. I 
did not wait to witness the result. Regarding my- 
self as the object of contention, I determined to 
remove from the presence of the victor. I slid down 
from my hiding-place, reached the ground, and glid- 
ing against the wall, strove to gain the open mouth 



of the cavern. But I had not taken many stepS 
when the fearful clamor ceased, to be followed by a 
mumbling and groaning which appeared to be indi- 
cative of victory. 

I looked back and saw the huge ape, gory with 
blood, coming after me with glaring eyes, with di- 
lated nostrils that gave forth two columns of heat- 
ed vapor. I could feel his hot and fetid breath on 
my neck; and with a horrid jump — awoke from my 
nightmare sleep. 

Yes — it was all a dream. I was still on the raft 
with my uncle and the guide. 

The relief was not instantaneous, for under the 
influence of the hideous nightmare my senses had 
become numbed. After a while, however, my feel- 
ings were tranquilized. The first of my perceptions 
which returned in full force was that of hearing.' I 
listened with acute and attentive ears. All was still 
as death. All I comprehended was silence. To the 
roaring of the waters, which had filled the gallery 
with awful reverberations, succeeded perfect peace. 

After some little time my uncle spoke, in a low 
and scarcely audible tone — "Harry, boy, where are 
you?" 

"I am here," was my faint rejoinder. 

"Well, don't you see what has happened? We are 
going upwards." 

"My dear uncle, what can you mean?" was my 
half delirious reply. 

"Yes, I tell you we are ascending rapidly. Our 
downward journey is quite checked." 

The Ascent Continues 

I HELD out my hand, and, after some little diffi- 
culty, succeeded in touching the wall. .My 
hand was in an instant covered with blood. 
The skin was torn from the flesh. We were ascend- 
ing with extraordinary rapidity. 

"The torch — the torch!" cried the Professor, 
wildly; "it must be lighted." Hans, the guide, after 
many vain efforts, at last succeeded in lighting it, 
and the flame, having now nothing to prevent its 
burning, shed a tolerably clear light. We were en- 
abled to form an approximate idea of the truth. 

"It is just as I thought," said my uncle, after 3 
moment or two of silent attention. "We are in a 
narrow well about four fathoms square. The waters 
of the great inland sea, having reached the bottom 
of the gulf, are now forcing themselves up the migh- 
ty shaft. As a natural consequence, we are being 
cast up on the summit of the waters." 

"That I can see," was my lugubrious reply; "but 
where will this shaft end, and to what fall are we 
likely to be exposed?" 

"Of that I am as ignorant as yourself. All I know 
is, that we should be prepared for the worst. We 
are going up at a fearfully rapid rate. As far as 
I can judge, we are ascending at the rate of two 
fathoms a second, of a hundred and twenty fathoms 
a minute, or rather more than three and a half 
leagues an hour. At this rate, our fate will soon 
be a matter of certainty." 

"No doubt of it," was my reply. "The great con-> 
cern I have now, however, is to know whether thia 
shaft has any issue. It may end in a granite roof — 
in which case we shall be suffocated by compressed 



A TRIP TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 



362 



air, or flashed to atoms against the top. I fancy, 
already, that the air is beginning to be close and 
condensed. I have a difficulty in breathing." This 
might have been fancy, or it might have been the 
effect of our rapid motion, hut I certainly felt a 
great oppression of the cheat. 

"Harry," said the Professor, "I do believe that 
the situation is to a certain extent desperate. There 
remain, however, many chances of ultimate safety, 
and I have, in my own mind, been revolving them 
during your heavy but agitated sleep. 1 have come 
to this logical conclusion — whereas we may at any 
moment perish, so at any moment we may be saved! 
We need, therefore, to prepare ourselves for what- 
ever may turn up in the great chapter of accidents." 

"But what would you have us do?" I cried; "are 
we not utterly helpless?" 

"No! While there is life there is hope. At all 
events, there is one thing we can do— eat, and thus 
obtain strength to face victory or death." 

As he spoke, I looked at my uncle with a haggard 
glance. I had put off the fatal communication as 
long as possible. It was now forced upon tne, and 
I must tell him the truth. Still I hesitated. "Eat," 
I said, in a deprecating tone as if there were no 
hurry. 

"Yes, and at once. I fee! like a starving pris- 
oner," he said, rubbing his yellow and shivering 
hands together. And, turning round to the guide, 
he spoke some hearty, cheering words, as I judged 
from his tone, in Danish. Bans shook his head in a 
terribly significant manner. I tried to look uncon- 
cerned. 

The Provisions Gone 

"XT 7 HAT! " crieQ " the Professor, "do you 
1/%/ mean to say that all our provisions are 
V ¥ lost?" 

"Yes," was toy lowly spoken reply, as I held out 
something in my hand, "this morsel of dried meat 
is all that remains for us three." 

My uncle gazed at me as if he could not fully 
appreciate the meaning of my words. The blow 
seemed to stun him by its severity. I allowed him 
to reflect for some moments. 

"Well," said I, after a short pause, "what do you 
think now? Ts there arty chance of our escaping from 
our horrible subterranean dangers? Are we not 
doomed to perish in the great hollows of the Center 
of the Earth?" \ 

But my pertinent questions brought no answer. ' 
My uncle either heard me not, or appeared not to 
do so. And in this way a whole hour passed. 
Neither of us cared to speak. For myself, I began 
to feel the most fearful and devouring hunger. My 
companions, doubtless, felt the same horrible tor- 
tures, but neither of them would touch the wretched 
morsel of meat that remained. It lay there a last 
remnant of all our great preparations for the mad 
and senseless journey! 

I looted back, with wonderment, to my own folly. ' 
Fully was I aware that, despite his enthusiasm, and 
the ever-to-be hated scroll of Saknussem, my uncle 
should never have started on his perilous voyage. 
What memories of the happy past, what previsions 
of the horrible future now filled my brain ! 



CHAPTER XLI 
Hunger 



HUNGER, prolonged, is temporary i 
The brain is at work without its required 
food, and the most fantastic notions fill the 
mind. Hitherto I had never known what hunger 
really meant. I was likely to understand it now only 
too well. 

After dreaming for some time, and thinking of 
this and other matters, I once more looked around 
me. We were still ascending with fearful rapidity. 
Evei'y now and then the air appeared to check our 
respiration as it does that of aeronauts when the. 
ascension of the balloon is too rapid. But if they 
feel a degree of cold in proportion to the elevation 
they attain in the atmosphere, we experienced quite 
a contrary effect. The heat began to increase in a 
most threatening and exceptional manner. 1 can- 
not tell exactly the mean, but I think it must have 
reached 122 degrees of Fahrenheit. 

What was the meaning of this extraordinary- 
change in the temperature? As far as we had 
hitherto gone, facts had proved the theories of Davy 
and of Lidenbrftck to be correct. Until how, all the 
peculiar conditions of refractory rocks, of electric- 
ity, of magnetism, had modified the general laws of 
nature, and had created for us a moderate tempera- 
ture; for the theory of the central fire, remained, in 
my eyes, the only explainable one. 

Were we, then, going to reach a position in which 
these phenomena were to be carried out in all their 
rigor, and in which the heat would reduce the 
rocks to a state of fusion? Such was my not unnat- 
ural fear, and I did not conceal the fact from my 
uncle. My way of doing so might be cold and heart- 
less, but I could not help it. "If we are not drowned, 
or smashed into pancakes, and if we do not die of 
starvation, we have the satisfaction of knowing that 
we must be burned alive-." 

My uncle, in presence of this brusque attack, 
simply shrugged his shoulders, and resumed his re- 
flections—whatever they might be. 

An hour passed away, and except that there was 
a slight increase in tire temperature no incident 
modified the situation. My uncle at last, of his 
own accord, broke silence. "Weil, Harry, my boy," 
he said, in a cheerful way, "we must make up our 
minds." 

"Make up our minds to what?" I asked, in consid- 
erable surprise. 

"Well— to something. We must at whatever risk 
recruit our physical strength. If we make the fatal 
mistake of husbanding our little remnant of food, 
we may probably prolong our wretched existence a 
few hours — but we shall remain weak to the end." 

"Yes," I growled> "to the end. That, however, 
will not keep us long waiting," 

"WelL only let a chance of safety present itself, — : 
only allow that a moment of action be necessary, — ; 
where shall we find the means of action if we allow 
ourselves to be reduced to physical weakness by in- 
anition?" 

"When this pieee of meat is devoured, uncle, what 
hope will there remain unto us?" : 

"None, ray dear Harry, none. But will it do you 
any good to de,vo.ur jt with your eyes.? You appear 



370 



XMAZING STORIES 



to me to reason like one without will or decision, 
like a being without energy." 

While There is Life There is Hope 
"rTTSHBN," cried I, exasperated to a degree 
S which is scarcely to be explained, "yon do 
A not mean to tell me — that you — that you — ■ 
have not ]ost all hope." 

"Certainly not," replied the Professor, with con- 
summate coolness. 

"You mean to tell me, uncle, that we shall get out 
of this monstrous subterranean shaft?" 

"While there is life there is hope. I beg to as- 
sert, Harry, that as long as a man's heart beats, as 
long as a man's flesh quivers, I do not allow that 
a being gifted with thought and will can allow him- 
self to despair." 

What a resolution ! The man placed in a position 
like that we occupied must have been very brave 
to speak like this. "Well," I cried, "what do you 
mean to do?" - 

"Eat what remains of the food we have in our 
hands; let us swallow the last crumb. It will be, 
heaven willing, our last repast. Well, never mind — = 
instead of being exhausted skeletons, we shall be 
men." 

"True," muttered I in a despairing tone, "let us 
take our fill." 

"We must," replied my uncle, with a deep sigh= 
"call it what you will." My uncle tbdk a piece of the 
meat that remained, and some crusts of biscuit 
which had escaped the wreck. He divided the whole 
into three parts. Each had one pound of food to 
last him as long aa he remained in the interior of 
the earth. 

Each now acted in accordance with his own pri- 
vate character. My uncle, the Professor, ate greed- 
ily, but evidently without appetite, eating simply 
from some mechanical motion. I put the food in- 
side my lips, and hungry as I was, chewed my 
morsel without pleasure, and without satisfaction. 
Hans the guide, just as if he had been eider-down 
hunting, swallowed every mouthful, as though it 
were a usual affair. He looked like a man equally 
prepared to enjoy superfluity or total want. Hans, 
in all probability, was no more used to starvation 
than ourselves, but his hardy Icelandic nature had 
prepared him for many sufferings. As long as he 
received his three rix-dollars every Saturday night, 
he was prepared for anything. The fact was, Hans 
never troubled himself about much except his money. 
He had undertaken to serve a certain man at so 
much per week, and no matter what evils befell his 
employer or himself, he never found fault or 
grumbled, so long as his wages were duly paid. 

Suddenly my uncle roused himself. He had seen 
a smile on the face of ; our guide. I could not make 
it out. "What is the matter?" said my uncle. 

"Schiedam," said the guide, producing a bottle 
of this precious fluid. 
V We drank. My uncle and myself will own to our 
dying day that hence we derived strength to exist 
until the last bitter moment. That precious bottle 
of Hollands was in reality only half -full; but, under 
the circumstances, it was nectar. The worthy 
Professor swallowed about half a pint and did not 
seem able to drink any more. "Fortrafftig" said 
Hans, Swallowing nearly all that was left. 



"Excellent—very good," said my uncle, with as 
much gusto as if he had just left the steps of the : 
club at Hamburg. 

I began to feel as if there were still one gleam 
of hope. Now all thought of the future vanished ! 
We had consumed our last ounce of food, and it was 
five o'clock in the morning! 

CHAPTER XLII 

The Volcanic Shaft 

'AN'S constitution is so peculiar, that his 
health is purely a negative matter. No 
sooner is the rage of hunger appeased, 
than it becomes difficult to comprehend the mean- 
ing of starvation. It is only when you suffer that 
you really understand. As to anyone who has not 
endured privation having any notion of the matter, 
it is simply absurd. With us, after a long fast, some 
mouthfuls of bread and meat, a little mouldy bis- 
cuit and salt beef triumphed over all our previous 
saturnine thoughts. 

Nevertheless, after this repast each gave way to 
his own reflections. I wondered what were those of 
Hans— the man of the extreme north (who was yet 
gifted with the fatalistie resignation of Oriental 
character. But the utmost stretch of the imagina- 
tion would not allow me to realize the truth. As for 
my individual self, my thoughts had ceased to be 
anything but memories of the past, and were all 
connected with that upper world which I never 
should have left. I saw it all now, the beautiful 
house in the KSnigstrasse, my poor 'Gretchen, the 
good Martha; they all passed before my mind like 
visions of the past. Every time any of the lugubri- 
ous groanings which were to be distinguished in 
the hollows around fell upon my ears, I fancied I 
heard the distant murmur of the great cities above 
my head. 

As for my uncle, always thinking of his science, 
he examined the nature of the shaft by means of a 
torch. He closely examined the different strata one 
above the other, in order to recognize his situation 
by geological theory. This calculation, or rather 
this estimation, could by no means be anything but 
approximate. But a learned man, a philosopher, is 
nothing if not a philosopher, when he keeps his 
ideas calm and collected ; and certainly the Pro- 
fessor possessed this quality to perfection. 

I heard him, as I sat in silence, murmuring words 
of geological science. As I understood his object 
and his meaning, I could not but interest myself de- 
spite my preoccupation in that terrible hour. "Erup- 
tive granite," he said to himself, "we are still in the 
primitive epoch. But we are going up — going up, 
still going up. But who knows? Who knows?" 

Then he still hoped, He felt along the vertical 
sides of the shaft with his hand, and some few min- 
utes later he would go on again in the following 
style — "This is gniess. This mocashites— silicious 
mineral. Good again; this is the epoch of transi- 
tion, at all events, we are close to them — and then, 
and then — —" 

What could the Professor mean? Could he, by 
any conceivable means, measure the thickness of the 
crust of the earth suspended above our heads? Did 
he possess any possible means of making any ap- 
proximation to this calculation? No. The man-. 



a. TRIP TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 



371 



ometer waa wanting, and no summary estimation 
could take the place of it. 

The Temperature Rises — They Are Floating on Lava 

AS we progressed, the temperature increased 
in the most extraordinary degree, and I be- 
gan to feel as if I were bathed in a hot and 
burning atmosphere. Never before had I felt any- 
thing like it. I could only compare it to the hot 
vapor from an iron foundry, when the liquid iron is 
in a state of ebullition and runs over. By degrees, 
and one after the other, Hans, my uncle, and myself 
had taken off our coats and waistcoats. They were 
unbearable. Even the slightest garment was the 
cause of extreme suffering. 

"Are we ascending to a living fire?" I cried; 
when, to my horror and astonishment, the heat be- 
came greater than before. 

"No, no," said by uncle, "it is simply impossible, 
quite impossible." 

"And yet," said I, touching the side of the shaft 
with my naked hand, "this wall is literally burn- 
ing." 

At this moment, feeling as I did that the sides of 
this extraordinary wall were red hot, I plunged my 
hands into the water to cool them. I drew them back 
with a cry of despair. "The water is boiling!" I 
cried. 

My uncle, the Professor, made no reply other 
than a gesture of rage and despair. Something very 
like the truth had probably struck his imagination. 

An invincible dread took possession of my brain 
and soul. I could only look forward to an immedi- 
ate catastrophe, such a catastrophe as not even the 
most vivid imagination could have thought of. An 
idea, at first vague and uncertain, was gradually 
being changed into certainty. It was so terrible an 
idea that I scarcely dared to whisper it to myself. 
Yet all the while certain, and as it were, involun- 
tary observations determined my convictions. By 
the doubtful glare of the torch, I could make out 
some singular changes in the granitic strata; a 
strange and terrible phenomenon was about to be 
produced, in which electricity played a part. Then 
this boiling water, this terrible and excessive heat? 
I determined as a last resource to examine the com- 
pass. 

The compass had gone mad ! Yes, wholly stark, 
staring mad. The needle jumped from pole to pole 
with sudden and surprising jerks, ran round, or as 
it is said, boxed the compass, and then ran suddenly 
back again as if it he had the vertigo. 

Terrible detonations, like heaven's artillery, be- 
gan to multiply themselves with fearful intensity. I 
could only compare them with the noise made by 
hundreds of heavily-laden chariots being madly 
driven over a stone pavement. It was a continuous 
roll of heavy thunder. 



They a 



o the Volcanic Shaft of a Crater in Full Action 



ND then the mad compass, shaken by the wild 
electric phenomena, confirmed me in my rap- 

. idly formed opinion. The mineral crust was 
about to burst, the heavy granite masses' were about 
to rejoin, the fissure was about to close, thavoid was 
about to be filled up, and we poor atoms to be 
crushed in its awful embrace ! "Uncle,-- uncle!" I 
pried, "we are wholly, irretrievably lost!" 



"What, then my young friend, is your new cause 
of terror and alarm?" he said, in his calmest man- 
ner. "What fear you now?" 

"What do I fear now!" I cried, in fierce and 
angry tones. "Do you not see that the walls of the 
shaft are "in motion? do you not see that the solid 
granite masses are cracking? do you not feel the 
terrible, torrid heat? do you not observe the awful 
boiling water on which we float? do you not remark 
this mad needle? every sign and portent of an aw- 
ful earthquake?" i 

My uncle coolly shook his head. "An earth- 
quake?" he questioned in the most calm and pro- 
voking tone. 

"Yes." 

"My nephew, I tell you that you are utterly mis- 
taken," he continued. 

"Do you not, can you not, recognize all the well- 
known symptoms " 

"Of an earthquake?" by no means. I am expect- 
ing something far more important." 

"My brain is strained beyond endurance — what, 
what do you mean?" I cried. 

"An eruption, Harry." 

"An eruption," I gasped. "We are, then, in the 
volcanic shaft of a crater in full action and vigor." 

"I have every reason to' think so," said the Pro- 
fessor in a smiling tone, "and I beg -to tell you 
that it is the most fortunate thing that could hap- 
pen to us." 

The most fortunate thing ! Had my uncle really 
and truly gone mad? What did he mean by these 
awful words — what did he mean by this terrible 
calm, this solemn smile? "What!" cried I, in the 
height of my exasperation, "we are on the way to 
an eruption, are we? Fatality has cast us into a 
well of burning and boiling lava, of rocks on fire, of 
boiling water, in a word, filled with every kind of 
eruptive matter? We are about to be expelled, 
thrown up, vomited, spit out of the interior of the 
earth, in common with huge blocks of granite, with 
showers of cinders and scorise, in a wild whirlwind 
of flame, and you say^-the most fortunate thing 
.which could happen to us." 

"Yes," replied the Professor, looking at me calm- 
ly from under his spectacles, "it is the only chance 
which remains to us of ever escaping from the in- 
terior of the earth to the light of day." 

It is quite impossible that I can put on paper the 
thousand strange, wild thoughts which followed 
this extraordinary announcement. But my uncie 
was right, quite right, and never had he appeared 
to me so audacious and so convinced as when he 
looked me calmly in the - face and spoke of the 
chances of an eruption— of our being cast upon 
mother earth once more through the gaping crater 
of a volcano! 

It is Not a Shaft of Sneffels 
pHIUE we were speaking we were still as- 
cending; we passed the whole night going 
or to speak more scientifically, in an 
ascensional motion. The fearful noise redoubled; I 
was ready to suffocate. I seriously believed that 
my last hour was approaching, and yet, so strange is 
imagination, all I thought of was some childish hy- 
pothesis or other. In such circumstances you do not 
choose your own thoughts. They overcome you. 



372 



AMAZING STORIES 



It was quite evident that we were being cast up- 
wards by eruptive matter; under the raft there was 
a mass of boiling water, and under this was a heav- 
ing mass of lava, and an aggregate of rocks which 
on reaching the. summit of the water would be dis- 
persed in every direction. That we were inside the 
chimney of a volcano there could no longer be the 
shadow of a doubt. Nothing more terrible could be 
conceived ! 

But on this occasion, instead of Sneffels, an old 
and extinct volcano, we were inside a mountain of 
fire in full activity. Several times I found myself 
asking, what mountain was it, and on what part of 
the world we should be shot out. As if it were of 
any consequence! In the northern regions, there 
could be no reasonable doubt about that. Before it 
went decidedly mad, the compass had never made 
the slightest mistake. From the cape of Saknus- 
sem, we had been swept away to the northward 
many hundreds of leagues. Now the question was, 
were we once more under Iceland — should we he 
belched forth on to the earth through the crater of 
Mount Hecla, or should we reappear through one 
of the other seven fire- funnels of the island? Tak- 
ing in my mental vision a radius of five hundred 
leagues to the westward, I could Bee. under this 
parallel only the little-known volcanoes of the 
northwest coasts of America. To the east one only 
existed somewhere about the eightieth degree of 
latitude, the Esk, upon the island of Jean Mayen, 
not far from the frozen regions of Spitzbergen. It 
was not craters that were wanting, and many of 
them were big enough to vomit a whole army; all 
I wished to know was the particular one towards 
whjch we were making with such fearful velocity. 
I often think now of my folly.; as if I should have 
expected to escape ! 

Towards morning, the ascending motion became 
greater and greater. If the degree of heat in- 
creased instead of decreasing, as we approached 
the surface of the earth, it was simply because the 
causes were local and wholly due to volcanic in- 
fluence. Our very style of locomotion left in my 
mind no doubt upon the subject. An enormous 
force, a force of some hundred of combined atmos- 
pheres produced by vapors accumulated and long 
compressed in the interior of the earth, were hoist- 
ing us upwards with irresistible power. 

But though we were approaching the light of day, 
to what fearful dangers were we about to be ex- 
posed? Instant death appeared the only fate which 
we could expeet or contemplate. 

The Worst Period of the Ascent 

SOON a dim, sepulchral light penetrated the 
vertical gallery, which became wider and 
wider. I could make out to the right and left 
long dark corridors like immense tunnels, from 
which awful and horrid vapors poured out. Ton- 
gues of fire, sparkling and crackling, appeared about 
to lick us up. The hour had come ! 
"Look, uncle, look!" I cried. 
"Well, what you see are the great sulphurous 
flames. Nothing more common in connection with 
an eruption." 

"But if they lap us round!" I angrily replied. 
"They will not lap us round," was his quiet a'nJ 
serene answer. 



"But it will he all the same in the end if they 
stifle us," I cried. 

"We shall not be stifled. The gallery is rapidly 
becoming wider and wider, and if it be necessary, 
we will presently leave the raft and take refuge in 
some fissure in the rock." 

"But the water, the water, which is continually 
ascending?" I despairingly replied. 

"There is no longer any water, Harry," he an- 
swered, "but a kind of lava paste, which is heaving 
us up, in company with itself, to the mouth of the 
crater." 

In truth, the liquid column' of water had wholly 
disappeared to give place to dense masses of seeth- 
ing eruptive matter. The temperature was becoming 
utterly insupportable, and a thermometer exposed 
to this atmosphere would have marked between 189 
and 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Perspiration rushed 
from every pore. But for the extraordinary rapidity 
of our ascent we should have been stifled. 

Nevertheless, the Professor did not carry out 
his proposition of abandoning the raft; and he did 
quite wisely. Anyway, those few ill-joined beams 
offered a solid surface — a support which elsewhere 
must have utterly failed us. 

Towards eight o'clock in the morning a new in- 
cident startled us. The ascensional movement sud- 
denly ceased. The raft became still and motionless. 
"What is the matter now?" I said querulously, very 
much startled by this ehange. 

"A simple halt," replied my uncle. 

"Is the eruption about to fail?" I asked. 

"I hope not." 

Without making any reply, I rose. I tried to 
look around me. Perhaps the raft, checked by some 
projecting rock, opposed a momentary resistance 
to the eruptive mass. In this case, it was absolutely 
necessary to release it as quickly as possible. 

Nothing of the kind had occurred. The column of 
cinders, of scoria?, of broken rocks and earth, had 
wholly ceased to ascend. "I tell you, uncle, that the 
eruption has stopped," was my oracular decision. 

"Ah," said my uncle, "you think so, my boy. You 
are wrong. Do not be in the least alarmed; this 
sudden moment of calm will not last long, be as- 
sured. It has already endured five minutes, and be- 
fore we are many minutes older we shall be con- 
tinuing our journey to the mouth of the crater." 

All the time he was speaking the Professor con- 
tinued to consult his chronometer, and he was 
probably right in his prognostics. Soon the raft 
resumed its motion, in a very rapid and disorderly 
way, which lasted two minutes or thereabout; and 
then again it stopped as suddenly as before. "Good," 
said my uncle, observing the hour, "in ten minutes 
we shall start again." 

"In ten minutes?" 

"Yes — precisely. We have to do with a volcano, 
the eruption of which is intermittent. We are com- 
pelled to breathe just as it does. 

A Long, Lasting Delirium as Escape Approaches , 

NOTHING could be more true. At the exact 
minute he had indicated, we were- again 
launched on high with extreme rapidity. 
Not to be cast off the raft, it was necessary to hold 
on to the beams. Then the hoist again ceased. 
Many times Since have I thought of this singular, 



A TRIP TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 



373 



phenomenon without being able to find for it any- 
satisfactory explanation. Nevertheless, it appeared 
quite clear to me, that we were not in the principal 
chimney of the volcano, but in an accessory conduit, 
where we felt the counter-shock of the great and 
principal tunnel filled by burning lava. 

It is impossible for me to say how many times this 
maneuver was repeated. All that I can remember is, 
that on every ascensional motion, we were hoisted 
up with ever-increasing velocity, as if we had been 
launched from a huge projectile. During the sudden 
halts we were nearly stifled; during the moments of 
projection the hot air took away our breath. 

I thought for a moment of the voluptuous joy of 
suddenly finding myself in the hyperborean regions 
with the cold 30 degrees below zero ! My exalted im- 
agination pictured to itself the vast snowy plains 
of the arctic regions, and I was impatient to roll 
myself on the icy carpet of the north pole. By de- 
grees my head, utterly overcome by a series of vio- 
lent emotions, began to give way to hallucination, I 
was delirious. Had it not been for the powerful arms 
of Hans the guide, I should have broken my head 
against the granite masses of the shaft. 

I have, in consequence, kept no account of what 
followed for many hours. I have a vague and con- 
fused remembrance of continual detonations, of 
the shaking of the huge granitic mass, and of the 
raft going round like a spinning top. It floated on 
the stream of hot lava, amidst a falling cloud of 
cinders. The huge flames roaring, wrapped U3 
around. 

A storm of wind which appeared to he cast forth 
from an immense ventilator roused up the interior 
fires of the earth. It was a hot incandescent blast! 

At last I saw the figure of Hans as if enveloped 
in the huge halo of burning blaze, and no other 
sense remained to me but that sinister dread which 
the condemned victim may be supposed to feel when 
led to the mouth of a cannon, at the supreme mo- 
ment when the shot ia fired and his limb3 are dis- 
persed into empty space. 

CHAPTER XLIII 

Daylight At Last 

HEN I opened my eyes I felt the hand of 
the guide clutching me firmly by the belt. 
With his other hand he supported my uncle. 
I was not grievously wounded, but bruised all over 
in the most remarkable manner. After a moment I 
looked around, and found that I was lying down on 
the slope of a mountain not two yards from a yawn- 
ing gulf into which I should have fallen had I made 
the slightest false step. Hans had saved me from 
death, while I rolled insensible on the flanks of the 
crater. 

"Where are we?" dreamily asked my uncle, who 
literally appeared to be disgusted at having re- 
turned to earth. The eider-down hunter simply 
shrugged his shoulders as a mark of total ignor- 
ance. 

"In Iceland?" I replied, not positively but inter- 
rogatively. 

"Nej," said Hans. 

"How do you mean?" cried the Professor; "no— 
what are your reasons?" 

"Hans is wrong," said I, rising, 



After all the innumerable surprises of this jour- 
ney, a yet more singular one was reserved to us. I 
expected to see a cone covered by snow, by exten- 
sive and wide-spread glaciers, in the midst of the 
arid deserts of the extreme northern regions, be- 
neath the full rays of a polar sky, beyond the high- 
est latitudes. But contrary to all our expectations, 
I, my uncle, and the Icelander, were cast upon the 
slope of a mountain calcined by the burning rays of 
a sun which was literally baking us with its fires. 
I could not believe my eyes, but the actual heat 
which affected my body allowed me no chance of 
doubting. We came out of the crater half naked, 
and the radiant star from which we had asked noth- 
ing for two months, was good enough to be prodi- 
gal to us of light and warmth— a light and warmth 
we could easily have dispensed with. 

When our eyes were accustomed to the light we 
had lost sight of so long, I used them to rectify the 
errors of my imagination. Whatever happened, we 
should have been at Spitzbergen, and I was in no 
humor to yield to anything but the most absolute 
proof. 

After some delay, the Professor spoke. "Hem!" 
he said, in a hesitating kind of way, "it really does 
not look like Iceland." 

"But supposing it were the island of Jean May- 
en?" I ventured to observe. 

"Not in the least, my boy. This is not one of the 
volcanoes of the north, with its hills of granite and 
its crown of snow." 

"Nevertheless— -~" 

On the Surface of the Earth at Last 
OOK, look, my boy," said the Professor, 
dogmatically as usual. Eight above our 
heads, at a great height, opened the crater 
of a volcano from which escaped, from one quarter 
of an hour to the other, with a very loud explosion, 
a lofty jet of flame mingled with pumice stone, cin- 
ders, and lava. I could feel the convulsions of na- 
ture in the mountain, which breathed like a huge 
whale, throwing up from time to time fire and air 
through its enormous vents. 

Below, and floating along a slope of considerable 
angularity, the stream of eruptive matter spread 
away to a depth which did not give the volcano a 
height of three hundred fathoms. Its base disap- 
peared in a perfect forest of green trees, among 
which I perceived olives, fig trees, and vines loaded 
with rich grapes. Certainly this was not the ordin- 
ary aspect of the Arctic regions. About that there 
could not be the slightest doubt. 

When the eye was satisfied at its glimpse of this 
verdant expanse it fell upon the waters of a lovely 
sea or beautiful lake, which made of this enchanted 
land an island of not many leagues in extent. To- 
wards the setting sun, some distant shores were to 
be made out on the edge of the horizon. In one place 
appeared a prodigiously lofty cone, above the sum- 
mit of which hung dark and heavy clouds. 

"Where can we be?" I asked, speaking in a low 
and solemn voice. 

Hans shut his eyes with an air of indifference, 
and my uncle looked on without clearly understand- 
ing. "Whatever this mountain may be," he said, at 
last, "I must confess it is rather warm. The ex- 
plosions do not leave off, and I do not think it is. 



L' 



374 



AMAZING STORIES 



worth while to have left the interior of a volcano and 
remain here to receive a huge piece of rock upon 
one's head. Let us carefully descend the mountain 
and discover the real state of the case. To con- 
fess the truth, I am dying of hunger and thirst." 

Decidedly the Professor had ceased to be a truly 
reflective character. For myself, forgetting all my 
necessities, ignoring my fatigues and sufferings, 
I should have remained still for several hours long- 
er — but it was necessary to follow my companions. 

.Where are They? An Interview with a Child. 

THE slope of the volcano was very steep and 
slippery; we slid over piles of ashes, avoiding 
the streams of hot lava which glided about like 
fiery serpents. Still, while we were advancing, I 
spoke with extreme volubility, for my imagination 
was too full not to explode in words, "We are in 
Asia!" I exclaimed; "we are on the coast of India, in 
the great Malay islands in the center of Oceana. We 
have crossed the one half of the globe to come out 
right at the antipodes of Europe !" 

"But the compass!" exclaimed my uncle; "explain 
that to me!" 

"Yes — the compass," I said, with considerable 
hesitation. "I grant that is a difficulty. According 
to it, we have always been going northward." 

"Then it lied." 

"Hem — to say it lied is rather a harsh word," 
was my answer. 

"Then we are at the north pole — ! — " 

"The pole — no' — well — well, I give it up," was 
my reply. The plain truth was, that there was no 
explanation possible. I could make nothing of it. 

All the while we were approaching this beautiful 
verdure, hunger and thirst tormented me fearfully. 
Happily, after two long hours' march, a beautiful 
country spread out before us, covered by olives, 
pomegranates, and vines, which appeared to belong 
to anybody and everybody. In the state of destitu- 
tion into which we had fallen, we were not particular 
to a grape. 

What delight it was to press these delicious fruits 
to our lips, and to bite at grapes and pomegranates! 
fresh from the bough. Not far off, near some fresh- 
and mossy grass, under the delicious shade of some 
trees, I discovered a spring of fresh water, into; 
which we voluptuously plunged our faces, hands and 
feet. 

While we were all giving way to the delights of 
new-found pleasures, a little child appeared be- 
tween two tufted olive trees. "Ah," cried I, "an in- 
habitant of this happy country." 

The little fellow was poorly dressed, weak and 
suffering, and appeared terribly alarmed at our ap- 
pearance. Half-naked, with tangled, matted and 
ragged beards, we did look supremely ill-favored; , 
and unless the country was a bandit land, we were 
not unlikely to alarm the inhabitants ! 

Just as the hoy was about to take to. his heels, 
Hans ran after him, and brought him back, despite 
his cries and kicks. My uncle tried to look as gentle 
as possible, and then spoke in German. "What is 
the name of this mountain, my friend?" 

The child made no reply. 

"Good," said my uncle, with a very positive air 
of conviction, "we are not in Germany." He then 



made the same demand in English, of" which he was 
an excellent scholar. 

The child shook its head and made no reply. 

"Is he dumb?" cried the Professor, who was 
rather proud of his polyglot knowledge of languages, 
and making the same demand in French. The boy 
only stared in his face. 

"I must perforce try him in Italian," said my 
uncle, with a shrug. "Dove siamo?" 

"Yes, tell me where we are?" I added, impatiently 
and eagerly. 

Again the boy remained silent. 

Stromboli! Stromboli 1 
Y fine fellow, do you or do you not mean 
to speak?" cried my uncle, who began to 
get angry. He shook him and spoke an- 
other dialect of the Italian language. "Come si cM- 
ama qiiesta isola?"^-\vha.t is the name of this 
island? 

"Stromboli," replied the rickety little shepherd, 
dashing away from Hans and disappearing in the 
olive groves. 

Stromboli! What effect oii'the imagination did 
these few words produce ! We were in the center of 
the Mediterranean; amid the Eastern archipelago 
of mythological memory ; in the ancient Strongylos, 
where iEofus kept the wind and the tempest chained 
up. And those blue mountains, which rose towards 
the rising of the sun, were the mountains of Cala- 
bria. And that mighty volcano which rose on the 
southern horizon was Etna, the fierce and cele- 
brated Etna! 

"Stromboli! Stromboli!" I repeated to myself. 
My uncle played a regular accompaniment to my ges- 
tures and words. We were singing together like an 
ancient chorus. Ah — what a journey— what a 
marvelous and extraordinary journey ! Here we had 
entered the earth by one volcano, and we had come 
out by another. And this other was situated more 
than twelve hundred leagues from Sneffels, from 
that drear country of Iceland cast away on the con- 
fines of the earth. The wondrous chances of this 
expedition had transported us to the most harmon- 
ious and beautiful of earthly lands. 

After a delicious repast of fruits and fresh water, 
we again continued our journey in order to reach 
the port of Stromboli. To say how we had reached 
the island would scarcely have been prudent. The 
superstitious character of the Italians would have 
been at work, and we should have been called de- 
mons vomited from the infernal regions. It was 
therefore necessary to pass for humble and unfor- 
tunate shipwrecked travelers. It was certainly less 
striking and romantic, but it was decidedly safe,r. 

"As we advanced, I could hear my worthy uncle 
muttering to himself — "But the compass. The com- 
pass most certainly marked north. This is a fact I 
cannot explain in any way." 

"Well, the fact is," said I, with an air of disdain, 
"we must not explain anything. It will be much 
more easy." 

"I should like to see a professor of the Johanneum' 
Institution, who is unable to explain a cosmic 
phenomenon — it would indeed be strange." And 
speaking thus; my uncle, half -naked, his 1 leathern 
purse round his loins, and his spectacles upon his 



A TRIP TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 



375 



nose, became once more the terrible Professor of 
Mineralogy. 

An hour after leaving the wood of olives, we 
reached the fort of San Vicenza, where Hans de- 
manded the price of his thirteenth week of service. 
My uncle paid him, with many warm shakes of the 
hand. 

At that moment, if he did not indeed quite share 
our natural emotion, he allowed his feelings so far to 
give way as to indulge in an extraordinary expres- 
sion for him. With the tips of two fingers he gently 
pressed our hands and smiled. 

CHAPTER XLIV 
The Journey Ended 
"SHIS is the final conclusion of a narrative 
which will probably be disbelieved even by 
, people who are astonished at nothing. I am, 
however, armed at all points against human in- 
credulity. 

We were kindly received by the Strombolite fish- 
ermen, who treated us as shipwrecked travelers. 
They gave us clothes and food. After a delay of 
forty-eight hours, on the 31st of September a little 
vessel took us to Messina, where a few days of de- 
lightful and complete repose restored us to our- 
selves. 

On Friday, the 4th of October, we embarked in 
the Valiums, one of the postal packets of the Im- 
perial Messagerie of France ; and three days later 
we landed at Marseilles, having no other care on 
our minds than that of our precious hut erratic com- 
pass. This inexplicable circumstance tormented me 
terribly. On the 9th of October, in the evening, we 
reached Hamburg. 

What was the astonishment of Martha, what the 
joy of Gretehen! I will not attempt to define it. 
"Now Harry, that you really are a hero," she said, 
"there is no reason why you should ever leave me 
again." I looked at her. She was weeping tears of 
joy. 

I leave it to be imagined if the return of Pro- 
fessor Hardwigg made or did not make a sensa- 
tion in Hamburg. Thanks to the indiscretion of 
Martha, the news of his departure for the Interior 
of the Earth had been spread over the whole world. 

No one would believe it— and when they saw him 
come back in safety they believed it all the less. 
But the presence of Hans and many stray scraps of 
information by degrees modified public opinion. 
Then my uncle became a great man, and I the 
nephew of a great man; which, at all events, is 
something. Hamburg gave a festival in our honor. 
A public meeting of the Johanueum Institution was 
held, at which the Professor related the whole story 
of his adventures, omitting only the facts in connec- 
tion with the compass. 

That same day he deposited in the archives of the 
town the document he had found, written by Sak- 
nussem, and he expressed his great regret that cir- 
cumstances, stronger than hia will, did not allow 
him to follow the Icelandic traveler's track into the 
very Center of the Earth. He was modest in hi3 
glory, but his reputation only increased. 

So much honor necessarily created for him many 
envious enemies. Of course they existed, and as his 
theories, supported by certain facts, contradicted 
the system of science upon the question of central 



heat, he maintained his own views both with pen 
and speech against the learned of every country. 
Although I still believe in the theory of central 
heat, I confess that certain circumstances, hitherto 
very ill-defined, may modify the laws of such natural 
phenomena. 

A Happy Ending 

AT the moment when these questions were be- 
ing discussed with interest, my uncle re- 
ceived a rude shock — one that he felt very 
much. Hans, despite everything he could say to the 
contrary, quitted Hamburg; the man to whom we 
owed so much would not allow us to pay our deep 
debt of gratitude. He was taken with nostalgia; a 
love for his Icelandic home. "Farvcl," said he, one 
day, and with this one short word of adieu, he 
started for Reykjawik, which he soon reached -in 
safety. 

We were deeply attached to our brave eider-duck 
hunter. His absence will never cause him to be for- 
gotten by those whose lives he saved, and I hope, 
at some not distant day, to see him again. 

To conclude, I may say that our Journey into the 
Interior of the Earth created an enormous sensa- » 
tion throughout the civilized world. It was trans- 
lated and printed in many languages. All the lead- 
ing journals published extracts from it, which were 
commentated, discussed, attacked, and supported 
with equal animation by those who believed in its 
episodes, and by those who were utterly incredul- 
ous. Wonderful! My uncle enjoyed during his life- 
time all the glory he deserved; and he was even of- 
fered a large sum of money by Mr. Barnum, to ex- 
hibit himself in the United States; and I am 
credibly informed by a traveler that he is to be 
seen in waxwork at Madame Tussaud's! 

But one care preyed upon his mind, a care which 
rendered him very unhappy. One fact remained in- 
explicable — that of the compass. For a learned man 
to be baffled by such an inexplicable phenomenon 
was very aggravating. But heaven was merciful, 
and in the end my uncle was happy. One day, while 
he put some minerals belonging to his collection in 
order, I fell upon the famous compass and examined 
it keenly. For six months it had lain unnoticed and 
untouched, I looked at it with curiosity, which soon 
became surprise. I gave a loud cry. The Professor, 
who was at hand, soon joined me. 

"What is the matter V r he cried, 

"The compass!" 

"What then?" 

"Why, its needle points to the south and. Hot toj 
the north." 

"My dear boy, you must be dreaming." 

"I am not dreaming. See the poles are changed." 

"Changed!" 

My uncle put on his spectacles, examined the in- 
strument, and leaped with joy, shaking the whole 
house. A clear light fell upon our minds. 

"Here it is!" he cried, as soon as he had. recov- 
ered the use of his speech. "Our error is now easily 
explained. Eut to what phenomenon do we owe 
this alteration In the needle!" 

"Nothing more simple." 

"Explain yourself, my boy. I am on thorns." 

"During the storm, upon the Central Sea, the ball 
(Continued on page 3Si) 



3*. 



62>R.HACKENSAWS SECRETS 

«* .8^ Clement ffizcmdie » 

* Secret o/>/;c Invisible girl 

lis**. 




Siiifog the opportunity, ho shot the hop of lib lariat over lier shoulders ... the slrl . . . hung uangliaff helpless, from the 

376 



DR. HACKENSAW'S SECRETS 



377 




CHAPTER I 
A Strange Offer 

SDCTOR Hackensaw, I'm looking for a 
place." 
"I'm sorry, my friend, but we have no 
vacancy at present." 
"My name is Phessenden Keene. Al- 
though I left school at the age of fifteen, I have 
studied at home and have the equivalent of a college 
education. I am very anxious to study inventing, 
and having heard a great deal about your marvelous 
inventions, I should like very much to work for 
you," 

"I'm sorry, hut as I said before, there is no va- 
cancy at present. In fact, this is the dull season and 
I have more men on hand now than I know what to 
do with." 

Phessenden Keene smiled. "I know," said he, 
"that you have no vacancy for an ordinary man, but 
I am sure you have one for me!" 

Doctor Hackensaw looked up in surprise at this 
conceited statement and was about to make an angry 
reply, but a look at the clean-cut, intelligent features 
of the young man before him, caused him to hold his 
tongue. The young fellow evidently had a strong 
will, for he continued: 

"I know my own value better than you know it. I 
am so sure that you have a vacancy for me that I am 
willing to come to work for you for nothing." 

"Thank you," replied Doctor Hackensaw, coldly, 
"but I desire to pay my assistants for their work. 
Besides, as I said before, there is no work for you 
to do." 

"I'll find work," replied the young man confi- 
dently, — "and plenty of it. Besides, I am willing 
to do all the dirtiest and most disagreeable work on 
the place. I will black the boots, clean out the spit- 
toons or the drains, attend to the furnace, shovel 
snow and so on. I will be 
your porter and carry 
heavy bundles for you to 
any part of the city." 



i the i 



2 and are not to receive a cent in 



M13S Pep Speaks 



"•"^ IVEhimat 
I -=- Pop," whis 
'V^fl ed Miss I 



i trial, 
hisper- 
Pep 
Perkins, who, seated at 
her typewriter, had over- 
heard the conversation 
and was pleased with the 
young man's looks. 

"How can you live if I 
don't pay you any sal- 
ary?" asked Doctor Hack- 
ensaw of the young man. 
"I have a couple of 
hundred dollars laid by 
that I saved penny by 
penny from my wages on a ranch, where I worked f or 
a while. I can make that last me for a year, and I 
know that long before that time I can convince you 
that my services are invaluable." 
"And if I am not convinced?" 
"In that case, I won't ask for anything." 
"Very well, I'll engage you on your own terms. 
You are to do all the hardest and most disagreeable 



TUfAKINC om's self iiivi.'iiile hax always been one of 
"■& the great fascinations io the human race. And no 
wonder I Imagine all the mischief we could make, all the 
eavesdropping zve could do, and all the secrets we could 
unravel! 

Scientifically speaking, it is not impossible to make a 
body invisible. Recent experiments made by a New Eng- 
land professor of chemistry show that when certain liquids 
are injected into organic tissues, they become practically 
transparent. The professor succeeded m making small 
animals entirely transparent and practically invisible. Who 
knozvs that in the future, by some means of chemicals, 
combined with certain rays, i! may not be possible for its 
In iiii.'/ij- onrsche. 1 ; entirely invisible? 

We are sure you will enjoy the latest Dr. Hackensaw 
Exploit of the Invisible Girl. Bozo zvould YOU catch an, 
invisible person? But nothing is impossible to Dr. Hack- 
ensaTi', so see how he did it! 



work o 
return." ' 

"Thank you," 

"When will you begin?" 

"Bight away ! I see the windows in the next room 
haven't been washed for a month. I'll begin by 
cleaning those—" and five minutes later, provided 
with a pail of water and a rag, the young fellow 
was industriously polishing away at the windows, 
which soon shone as they had never shone before. 

"Well, Pep," asked the doctor, "what do you think 
of that young fellow and his proposition?" 

"I don't know what to think, but I like his looks." 

"So do I. But for all that he may be a burglar, 
and may be choosing this means to learn where all 
the valuables on the place are kept. I have mil- 
lions of dollars worth of unpatented ideas that an 
intelligent chap like him could steal." 

"He looks like an honest fellow." 

"Looks don't count for much. The only other ex- 
planation I can see for hia offer, is that he has fallen 
in love with you, Pep, and has chosen this way of 
coming near you." And Doctor Hackensaw smiled 
mischievously. 

"Nonsense!" cried Pep, blushing, but seemingly 
not at all displeased with the idea. 

Whatever the reason, young Keene soon made 
his services veritably invaluable. He came early 
and stayed late and worked industriously all the 
time. One of his first jobs was to make a grand 
house-cleaning. Boom by room he went over the 
whole establishment, opening every neglected cup- 
board and cleaning it thoroughly. He timed hia 
work so well, and did it so neatly as never to occa- 
sion discomfort to anyone. He did more. He made 
a card catalogue of every document and every ob- 
ject in the place with a hieroglyph, to indicate where 
the thing was to be found. It was soon learned 
that if anyone wanted some particular thing, there 
was no sense in hunting 
for it, for Keene could 
lay his hands on it in 
a minute. 



B c 



CHAPTER II 
The Z-Ray Photograph 

OCTOR HACK- 
ENSAW, I've 
got something 
peculiar to show you !" 

The speaker was Phes- 
senden Keene, bronzed 
from sunburn, and just 
returned from a trip to 
Central Africa, where lie 
had been sent on a confi- 
dential mission by the 
doctor. 

Keene was now Doctor 
Hackensaw's right-hand man. His declaration that 
he would make himself indispensable was no vain 
boast. Before he had been in the doctor's service a 
week, it was evident that he was a man of extraordi- 
nary abilities and energy. Doctor Hackensaw, how- 
ever, in order to make the test thorough, kept him 
at work a whole month, without any salary. At the 
end of that time, he made him a princely offer for 



378 



AMAZING STORIES 



his services, and needless to say, the boot-blacking 
and spittoon -cleaning ceased immediately. The man 
was too valuable to be allowed to spend his time in 
such duties. 

Finally, the doctor, needing a confidential man to 
send to Africa, had entrusted Keene with the mis- 
sion. Poor Pep Perkins was brokenhearted at his 
departure, because her admiration for this unique 
specimen of a man was unbounded. She had at last 
found a man who made her heart go "tick-tack!" 

Keene was now back from Africa, and it was 
after his business report that he exclaimed: 

"Doctor Hackensaw, I've got something peculiar 
to show you." 

"What is it?" asked the Doctor. 

"It's a little memento I brought back from my 
African trip. As you know, I had with me some of 
the special cameras you invented for taking photo- 
graphs at night without the need of flash-lights." 

"Yes," said Doctor ILiekan -i,r. v. "I gave you 
photographic plates of two kinds. I gave you plates 
that were sensitive to electric, emanations so that 
you could take photos of the 'aura' that surrounds 
living beings." 

""Precisely," said Silas. "What you call the Z-ray 
plates. Well, the curious thing I have to show you 
is one of the Z-ray photographs I took near Mon- 
galla. I think you will find it rather curious !" 

So saying, Phessenden Keene took from his pocket 
a photograph which he handed to the doctor, and 
Pep left cleaning her typewriter in order to get a 
better view. 

A Young Girl and Her Aura 

■*^HE photograph represented what appeared to 
be a beautiful young girl in a state of nature, 
but surrounded by an aura of electric emana- 
tions. 

"Well, what is there peculiar about this?" asked 
the doctor. "It's just an ordinary photograph of a 
young lady, taken on a special plate in order to show 
the 'aura' ". 

"No, indeed," replied Keene. "I took that snap- 
shot in bright sunlight, and not a trace of a girl 
could I see. It was a bird I was photographing and 
I hadn't the faintest idea there was a girl anywhere 
near me. Doctor Hackensaw, do you believe there 
are such things as invisible creatures?" 

"Well, yes there are. In the water there are cer- 
tain animals like jelly-fishes that are so transparent 
that they are practically invisible. Among the ani- 
malcules too, there are many whose small size rend- 
ers them invisible, and there are some that are so 
transparent that we cannot see them until they 
are stained even with a microscope. That is what 
makes it so difficult to discover the specific microbe 
that causes a disease. We must find some stain 
that will make the microbe visible, and this isn't 
always easy. The celebrated Ehrhardt had to try 
no less than 606 different stains before he found one 
that would color the microbes that cause syphilis. 
Once he found the proper stain, however, he was 
able to incorporate drugs with it, and was thus en- 
abled to have his drugs carried into the bodies of 
the microbes. But, while invisible beings are com- 
mon in the microscopic world, we know of no large 
invisible animals." 



"Then the original of this photograph is the first 
one," said Keene, "and I wish to ask your permis- 
sion to return to Africa and try to capture her." 

"Why didn't you try while you were over there?" . 

"I unfortunately didn't develop the negative until 
after my return to the United States." 

"Well," assented the Doctor. "A search for an 
invisible gii-1 is worse than a search for a needle 
in a haystack, but the thing is so curious that we 
ought to make the attempt. I'll order my rapid 
aeroplane and Pep and I will go with you." 

CHAPTER III 
Bunches of Bananas for Bait 
ERE we are, Doctor," exclaimed Phessen- 
den Keene. "This is the very spot where 
I took the snapshot, as you cau see by 
comparing it with the photograph." 

"Even now," said Pep, "I don't see how we can 
ever hope to find the invisible girl. Pep spoke of 
its being as hard as looking for a needle in a hay- 
stack, but it seems to me much harder." 

"Yes," assented the doctor, "but to a scientist 
there would he no difficulty in finding a needle in a 
haystack. He would merely spread out the hay nr.d 
pass a strong electro-magnet over it, and in a few 
minutes the needle would be found clinging to tho 
magnet." 

"Perhaps so," said Pep, "but at least you can sen 
the needle when you do find it. Here we can't see 
the girl and even if she were right in front of us 
and we took a snapshot of her with the Z-rays, she 
would probably be gone by the time the negative 
was developed." 

Doctor Hackensaw smiled. "You forget, Pep," 
said he, "that we have other senses besides the 
sense of sight. Besides there are ways of making 
the invisible visible. Don't imagine for an instant 
that I have come unprepared. I have in fact several 
strings to my how. You will remember that we 
stopped awhile in Mongalla and I heard news there 
that will be of use to us. Hunting parties out after 
lions or elephants have noticed the mysterious dis- 
appearance of their provisions. Bunches of bana- 
nas disappear, and also the strips of hippopotamus 
meat that they hang up to dry. This knowledge 
will be very useful to us. The girl evidently has 
no way of obtaining provisions except by stealing 
them, hence a bunch of fine bananas would make a 
tempting bait." 

;"Oh!" exclaimed Pep, "that's the reason you 
loaded up the aeroplane with such quantities of 
bunches of bananas !" 

"Precisely. Our first job is to locate the girl. 
To do this we will hang up small bunches of bananas 
at likely spots near the White Nile, where she must 
go for water. And when tomorrow we find one or 
two of the bunches missing we day strongly sus- 
pect one invisible girl of being the culprit." 

It was no easy task tramping through the wilds, 
for caution was necessary, as lions, leopards and 
elephants abounded in the region and even the 
crocodiles were dangerous, the post-boat captain 
having informed our adventurers that he had had 
two of his men devoured by crocodiles the past year.' 



DR. HACKENSAW'S SECRETS 



379 



The Animals' Dread of Man 

FORTUNATELY, most of the wild animals had 
acquired a real wholesome dread of man. 
Even a herd of elephants would fly from a 
single' person. It is a curious sight to see a herd 
of these .huge monsters quietly feeding when a 
single man comes to windward of them. First one 
trunk goes up into the air as the man's scent is 
wafted to the herd. Then another and another trunk 
is raised and moves about until the direction of the 
scent is located. Then the whole herd marches 
briskly away at a rate no ordinary hunter can at- 
tain. 

When all the bait was hung up, carefully suspend- 
ed out of the reach of elephants, the party returned 
in their airplane to Mongalla to spend the night. 
The next morning they returned to examine the bait, 
and to their joy they found several of the bunches 
of bananas missing. In most of the places no tracks 
could be found in the hard earth, but near one of the 
trees a. small foot-print could be plainly discerned 
in the sand, 

"There's our young lady!" cried the Doctoi-, "and 
I propose that we name her 'Lily Foote.' It will be 
handy to have some name to know her by." 

"Yes, when we catch her," muttered Pep to her- 
self. 

"Now," said the Doctor, "the problem is, shall we^ 
try to trap her here, or shall we follow her to her 
den, for she must have a lair somewhere, safe from 
the wild beasts?" 

"How could you follow her?" asked Keene. "It 
would be easy enough if we had a good dog, but you 
can get nothing of the kind here." 

"I have something better than a dog," answered 
Doctor Hackensaw, "I have my trusty old 'super- 
nose' or smell amplifier. It is really nothing but a 
series of half a dozen specially constructed audions 
designed to amplify smells instead of sounds." 

Calling one of his Nubian servants, Doctor Hack- 
ensaw took from one of the bags a small case, which 
we fastened like a knapsack on his back. Two tubes 
projected from the instrument— one somewhat rigid 
with a flaring end, which the Doctor held over the 
scent. The other tube ended in a small mask which 
fitted over the Doctor's nose. Thus equipped, Doc- 
tor Hackensaw could follow a scent better than the 
very best hunting dog. 

Nearing the Quarry 

STARTING at the foot-print, the doctor had 
no difficulty in picking up the trail, and start- 
ed along it, followed by his friends and the 
negro porters. For several miles he pursued his 
quarry in this manner when he came to a tall tree 
and then paused and looked up into the branches. 
Nothing was visible. 

"She climbed up here," said the Doctor, "and is 
here yet, unless she came down on the other side." 
He made a rapid tour of the tree and then returned. 
"She is still up in the tree. All we've got to do now 
is to catch her!" 

"Yes, that's all," returned Keene, sarcastically. 
"But how are you going to catch a girl you can't 
see? I brought a lariat with me, but how are you 
goingto lasso a girl unless you can see her?" 
; "I have an answer for that," returned Doctor 
Hackensaw, "for I have brought with me several 



pairs of specially constructed 'Electrical Spectac- 
les'." 

"What are they?" 

"They are spectacles so constructed that they 
make electrical emanations visible. This invisible 
girl is, as we know by her photograph, surrounded 
by an aura. These spectacles will make that aura 
visible to us, and it will be our own fault if we do 
not catch the girl." 

A moment later, the Doctor, Pep and Keene were 
each equipped with the unique spectacles and were 
gazing intently up the tree. But the girl was well 
concealed in the leaves and they could see nothing. 

"Never mind, I'll climb up with my lariat, and 
if I see her, we'll soon have her. I've lassoed plenty 
of wild cattle on the ranches out West." 

A moment later, the young fellow, with his slip- 
noose in his hand, was ascending the tree, while Pep 
and the Doctor looked eagerly from below. 

"I see her!" cried Keene, and as he shouted the 
words, a rustling in the leaves was heard. 

"I see her too," cried Pep, "or rather I see what 
looks like the shadow of a girl. She's coming down 
the tree, letting herself drop from branch to branch 
like a monkey." 

It was a most peculiar sight, the aura of this in- 
visible girl as she rapidly descended. But she was 
no match for a western cowboy like Keene. He 
watched her descent, bracing himself against the 
trunk-of the tree, and seizing his opportunity, shot 
the loop of his lariat over her shoulders and pulled 
it tight. The girl made a spring, but hung dangling 
helpless from the rope. 

"I've got her," cried Keene, "I'll let her down to 
you carefully, but.I recommend you to tie her tight- 
ly until we can get her into the -cage we brought 
for her. She looks like a slippery customer!" 

CHAPTER IV ■ 
Conclusion 
" IT ~f~ERE we are, back in New York again!" 
I — | cried Doctor Hackensaw, gaily, five days 

JL _&. later, as his swift aeroplane entered its 
hangar. Our first job now will be to teach Aura to 
speak." 

Aura was the name that had finally been decided 
upon for the invisible girl. "Lily Foote" did not 
seem very satisfactory. The girl evidently posses- 
sed a language of her own and a few Arabic and 
Shilluck words that she had evidently overheard the 
natives use, but otherwise knew nothing and owned 
nothing. As Miggs expressed it, when they found 
her, "she didn't even have a pagoda on." (He evi- 
dently meant kimono). Miggs had been the air- 
plane pilot on their expedition. 

Doctor Hackensaw, with his usual foresight, had 
realized that if they caught the girl they would have 
to have some means of making her visible. Accord- 
ingly he had brought along a trousseau for her. It 
didn't fit very well, but was more suitable than the 
electric aura which had been her sole garment pre- 
viously. To render her face visible, he had also 
brought along a vanity-ease, and when her cheeks 
-were powdered and her lips painted, and she was 
attired in modern costume, you couldn't have told 
her from an ordinary girl except for the absence of 
(Continued on page S84) 



The Man Who Could Work Miracles 



By H. G. WELLS 

(Concluded) 



and waters filled earth and sky, and peering under 
his hand through the dust and sleet to windward, 
he saw by the play of the lightnings a vast wall of 
water pouring towards him. 

"Maydig!" screamed Mr. Fortheringay's feeble 
voice amid the elemental uproar. "Here ! — Maydig ! 

"Stop!" cried Mr. Fotlieringay to the advancing 
water. "Ob, for goodness sake, atop! 

"Just a moment," said Mr. Fotheringay to the 
lightnings and thunder, "Stop jest a moment while 
I collect my thoughts. . . And now what shall I do?" 
he said. "What shall I do ? Lord ! I wish Maydig 
was about. ' 

"I know," said Mr. Fotheringay. "And for good- 
ness sake let's have it right this time." 

He remained on all fours, leaning against the 
wind, very intent to have everything right. 

"Ah!" he said. "Let nothing what I'm going to 
order happen until I say "Off!" . . . Lord! I wish 
I'd thought of that before !" 

He lifted his little voice against the whirlwind, 
shouting louder and louder in the vain desire to 
hear himself speak. "Now then ! — here goes ! Mind 
about that what I said just now. In the first place, 
■when all I've got to say is done, let me lose my 
miraculous power, Jet my will become just like 
anybody's else's will, and all these dangerous mir- 
acles he stopped. I don't like them. I'd rather 
I didn't work 'em. Ever so much. That's the 
first thing. And the second is — let me be back just 
before the miracles begin; let everything be just 
as it was before that blessed lamp turned up. It's 
a big job, but it's the last. Have you got it? No 



more miracles, everything as it was — me back in the 
Long Dragon just before I drank my half-pint. 
That's it! Yes." 

He dug his fingers into the mould, closed his eyes, 
and said "Off 1" 

Everything became perfectly still. He perceived 
the he was standing erect. 

CHAPTER X. 
Back in the Long Dragon 
»(/"**( you say," said a voice. 

^^ He opened his eyes. He was in the bar 

kj of the Long Dragon, arguing about miracles 
with Toddy Beamish. He had a vague sense of 
some great thing forgotten that instantaneously 
passed. You see that, except for the loss of his 
miraculous powers, everything was back as it had 
been, his mind and memory therefore were now 
just as they had been at the time when this story 
began. So that he knew absolutely nothing of all 
that is told here — knows nothing of all that is told 
here to this day. And among other things, of 
course, he still did not believe in miracles. 

"I tell you that miracles, properly speaking, can't 
possibly happen," he said, "whatever you like to 
hold. And I'm prepared to prove it up to the hilt." 

"That's what you think," said Toddy Beamish, 
and "Prove it if you can." 

"Looky here, Mr. Beamish," said Mr. Fotherin- 
gay, "Let us clearly understand what a miracle is. 
It's something contrariwise to the course of nature 
done by power of Will. . . ." 



Experts Join Staff of "Amazing Stories" 



IT will come as good news that two sclent! fief ion 
experts have joined the staff as Literary Editors 
of Amazing Stories. 
The name of Wilbur C. Whitehead, the greatest 
Auction Bridge expert in the United States, will come 
as a surprise to many. Nevertheless, this famous man 
is a scientification fan of the first rank. There are 
few works of sciciitifiction with which he is not 
familiar, and he is just as much an expert in this 
type of literature as hi his native Bridge. Mr. White- 
head is the author of the following books on Bridge, 
and also editor of the "Work- Whitehead Auction 
Bridge Bulletin": "Auction Bridge Standards", 
"Auction Bridge Summary", "Complete Auction 
Bridge", and "Authoritative Leads and Conventions 
of Playing." 

Every great man has a hobby, and Mr. Whitehead 
is no exception. His hobby happens to be scientific- 
tion and all that goes with it. We congratulate our 
readers upon the acquisition of Mr. Whitehead. It 
means a great deal to the future editorial policy of 
Amazing Stoeies. It means, in short, the best. 
Mr. C. A. Brandt, who has also joined the editorial 



staff, is, in our opinion, the greatest living expert on 
scieutifiction. At least we do not know of any one 
else who has practically every piece of scientiiiction 
that was ever published, in his library. Mr. Brandt 
has on his book shelves, complete volumes, and short 
stories, taken from many publications — all scientific- 
tion. We believe that this collection of this type of 
literature can not be equalled by any one, because he 
made a study, not only of works in the English 
language, but also in the German, French, and Scan- 
dinavian languages. 

There is not a work of this kind that has appeared 
during the last fifty years, with which Mr. Brandt 
is not fully conversant. This is, of course, a tre- 
mendous asset to a publication of the type of Amaz- 
ing Stories, and one which assures you of getting 
the best that can be had at all rimes. 

By having the advantage of such an expert editorial 
board, Amazing Stories is convinced that when- 
ever new stories from new writers are received they 
will have expert treatment, and that, of course, is 
very necessary when dealing with a new literature of 
tliis kind. 



380 



THE MOON METAL 

By GARRETT P. SERVISS 

(Concluded) 

The Last Fight of Dr. Syx 
««T"^UT it took me a long time, and I did not 
i-s£ reach the rift in the summit until just be- 

JJ fore sundown. Knowing that it would be 
impossible for me to descend at night, I bethought 
me of the enclosure of rocks, supposed to have been 
made by Indians, on the western pinnacle, and de- 
cided that I could pass the night there. 

"The perpendicular buttress forming the east- 
ernmost and highest point of the Teton's head would 
have baffled me but for the fact that I found a long 
crack, probably an effect of the tremendous ex- 
plosion, extending from bottom to top of the rock. 
Driving my toes and lingers into this rift, I man- 
aged, with a good deal of trouble, and no little peril, 
to reach the top. As I lifted myself over the edge 
and rose to my feet, imagine my amazement at see- 
ing Dr. Syx standing within arm's-length of me! 

"My breath seemed pent in my lungs, and I could 
not even utter the exclamation that rose to my lips. 
It was like meeting a ghost. Notwithstanding the 
many reports of his having been seen in various 
parts of the world, it had always been my convic- 
tion that he had perished 



vengeance. At length I succeeded in overcoming the 
feeling which oppressed me, and, making a step for- 
ward, I shouted in a strained voice, 

'"You black Satan I' 

"I cannot clearly explain the psychological pro- 
cess which led me to utter those words. I had never 
entertained any enmity towards Dr. Syx, although 
I had always regarded him as a heartless person, 
who had purposely led thousands to their ruin for 
his selfish gain, but I knew that he could not help 
hating me, and I felt now that, in some inexplicable 
manner, a struggle, not physical, hut spiritual, was 
taking place between us, and my exclamation, ut- 
tered with surprising intensity, produced upon me, 
and apparently upon him, the effect of a desperate 
sword thrust which attains its mark. . 

"Immediately the doctor's form seemed to recede, 
aa if he had passed the verge of the precipice be- 
hind him. At the same time it became dim, and then 
dimmer, until only the dark outlines, and particular- 
ly the jet-black eyes, glaring fiercely, remained 
visible. And still he receded, as though floating in 
the air, which was now silvered with the evening 
light, until he appeared to cross the immense at- 



"Yet there he stood in the twilight, for 'the sun gpspheric gulf over Jackson's Hole and paused on 



i hidden by the time I reached the summit, his 
tall form erect, and his black eyes gleaming under 
the heavy brows as he fixed .them sternly upon my 
face. You know I never was given to losing my 
nerve, but I am afraid I lost it on that occasion. 
Again and again I strove to speak, but it was im- 
possible to move my tongue. So powerless seemed 
my lungs that I wondered how I could continue 
breathing. 

"The doctor ■ remained silent, hut his curious 
smile, which, as you know, was a thing of terror to 
most people, overspread his black-rimmed face and 
was broad enough to reveal the gleam of his teeth. 
I felt that he was looking me through and through. 
The sensation was as if he had transfixed me with 
an ice-cold blade. There was a gleam of devilish 
pleasure in his eyes, as though my evident suffering 
was a delight to him and a gratification of his 



the rim of the horizon in the east. 

"Then, suddenly, I became aware that the full 
moon had risen at the very place on the distant 
mountain-brow where the spectre rested, and as I 
continued to gaze, as if entranced, the face and 
figure of the doctor seemed slowly to frame them- 
selves within the lunar disk, until at last he ap- 
peared to have quitted the air and the earth and to 
be frowning at me from the circle of the moon." 

While Hall was pronouncing his closing words I 
had begun to stare at the moon with swiftly increas- 
ing interest, until, as his voice stopped, I ex- 
claimed, 

"Why, there he is now! Funny I never noticed it 
before. There's Dr. Syx's face in the moon, as 
plain as day." 

"Yes," replied Hall, without turning round, "and 
I never like to look at it." 



New Scientifiction Stories 



~B"F you are interested in scientifiction stories, you 
I will find several excellent ones in AMAZING 
JL STORIES' sister magazines, RADIO NEWS 
and SCIENCE AND INVENTION. 

RADIO NEWS for July contains "Sam Jones, 
Radio Tube Bootlegger, by Volney G. Mathison. 

A story ol the bad old days when there were sharp 
practices in radio — and how some of the practitioners 
came to grief in carrying out their designs upon tiie 
unwary public. If it is not true, it is well enough 
invented to convey a moral to radio-set owners in 
their purchasing of supplies. 



In SCIENCE AND INVENTION, "Tarrano the 
Conqueror" by Ray Cummings, lias been running for 
several months. The author of this story also wrote 
"The Girl hi the Golden Atom," "Around the Vni- 
' verse!' and "The Man on the Meteor." "Tarrano the 
Conqueror" is one of the weirdest and most amazing 
stories it has ever been our good fortune to read. 

Copies of RADIO NEWS and SCIENCE AND 
INVENTION may be secured at all newsstands, and 
back numbers can be obtained from the publishers. 
Address Experimci)ter Publishing Co., 53 Park Place, 
New York Ciry. 



382 



AMAZING STORIES 



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out advertising would be luxuries that only a 
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America is an advertising nation. That is 
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men abroad. 

Because thousands on thousands of people 
ask for a certain article by the same name, 
which they have read in the same advertise- 
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this item at a minimum of effort. 

It is therefore possible to manufacture, and 
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When you figure the number of these items 
in your daily life built by advertising, you can 
appreciate that advertising does pay you! 



'Advertisements enable you to buy 
better things at less cost 



Romance! Mystery! Intrigue! 



DON'T MISS THIS MARVELOUS, INTENSE, CRIPPING STORY 
OF WORLD MARVELS 700 YEARS HENCE 

"RALPH 124C 41 -I- " 

By HUGO GERNSBACK, F.R.S. Editor "Amazing Stories". 
Ralph, the ernaiL-st livim: scir-ntist of the year 2660, fights a. 
furious ball b v.-ilh .. M.i.tim lur the love of a beautiful girl, using 
incredible weapons, culminating in o running fight in epneo. 
BUY YOUR COPY TODAY— SENT POSTPAID FOR ?2.I5 
For Sale by 
The Experimenter Pub. Co., Inc., 53 Park Place, New York, N. Y. 




From 
GEOBGE ALLAN ENGLAND 
Author of "Tile Thing from Outside." 
Mr. H. Gernsback, June 4, 192G 

Editor, "Amazing Stoeies," 
New York City. 
Dear Mr. Gernsback: 

I cannot thank you too cordially for 
the opportunity you give me to say 
something in approval of your plan to 
print scientific Action. This is sup- 
posed to be the Age of Science, and the 
more widely scientific ideas are spread, 
the better. Fiction is certainly one of 
the most effective methods of dissemi- 
nating scientific ideas. 

The world is too much given over to 
silly, meaningless and licentious fic- 
tion. The type of stories you propose 
to print can do much to combat this 
evil tendency. Moreover, such stories, 
will wage war on the reactionary cam- 
paign now going on. The saying that 
"Science has conquered the world" is 
unfortunately far from true. Only a 
very small percentage of people have 
as yet accepted scientific thought with 
all its implication. The masses still 
cling to worn-out old religious dogmas 
that even an elementary knowledge of 
science would destroy. Schools and 
churches still keep the hoary old super- 
stitions alive, and actively fight to do 
so. The clergy realize that the real 
triumph of science would oust them 
from soft sinecures ; bluntly put, from 
their graft. Today, they are seeking, 
with some success, to have time taken 
from school-hours, for religious in- 
struction. They are backing the fight, 
in many states, to have science pro- 
hibited in the schools and colleges. An 
era of reaction is upon us. "Science 
Service," and your magazines, are do- 
ing noble work, which should by all 
means be extended. If the "black 
beetles of superstition" had their way, 
evolution would be kini^bcd from mod- 
ern thought. This must not be. The 
war is on, and you stand on the firing- 
line. 

For years I have advocated the 
teaching of evolution in grammar- 
schools, high schools and academies, 
as well as in universities. This one 
study would drive the inanities of su- 
perstition out of court, with ridicule. 
By all means, Mr. Gernsback, publish, 
all the scientific fiction you can, espe- 
cially with bearing on evolution. The 
clergy can dominate educational sys- 
tems, but they cannot control maga- 
zines. If the people cannot be reached 
through the schools, they can through 
the magazines. Your work is of im- 
mense importance. 

With all good wishes for your un- 
qualified' success, and with the faith 
that untimately "truth is mighty and 
will prevail," I am as ever, 

Most cordially yours, 
George Allan England 
Bradford, N, H, 



THe Scientific Adven- 
tures 6f"~Mr*-Fosdiek 

By Jacqub Mo^Ga-JL. , ' 
The Feline Light and Power Company- 
is Organized 
{Concluded) 



mendouS electrical pressure with 
■which he was charged. 

A bolt of sheet rubber was passed 
in the next morning, however, and 
Fosdick set to work fashioning some 
insu' g shoes for John L. These 
were- mpleted by noon and the fifty 
thoush d movbiu spectators that had 
come in- by special trains breathlessly 
watched --the experiment. Rubber- 
shod, the cat-.\\vas dropped to the 
ground — and it survived. A great 
cheer went up from the .crowd. This 
had no sooner subsided than Prof. 
Snooks realized that a terrible mistake 
had been made. Hastily grabbing a 
megaphone from a barker of one of 
the numerous side shows that had set 
up their tents everywhere, he addres- 
sed the crowd. He told them that 
John L. was at liberty charged with 
perhaps a hundred million volts of elec- 
tricity, and that contact with him 
could mean but one thing— death. In- 
stantly there was a wild commotion in 
the terrorised crowd and then a wild 
flight from the awful peril. By night- 
fall the railroads had deported thirty- 
' nine train loads of people and, save 
for the few that could find rubber 
boots, the streets of Whifneville were 
as lifeless as the shady paths of the 
neighboring cemetery. 

Rubber and rubber alone could pro- 
tect them against the deadly menace 
of John L. This, all realized. A 
thoughtless humanitarian, Bill Hitch- 
cock by the name, made rubber boots 
for his three dogs. One of the dogs 
that very afternoon, spying John L., 
set sail for him and although he man- 
aged only to touch the tail of the eat 
he became charged with the deadly 
electrical pressure. And worse, the 
dog coming home rubbed noses with 
THE 



AMAZING STORIES 

Hitchcock's other two dogs, charging 

them. With three electrical dogs and 

one electrical cat at large only the 
foolhardy ventured abroad. 

Casualties Multiplied and the Two 
Charged Subjects Are Still in 
Captivity 
ITHIN the next twenty-four 
hours there were a number of 
casualties. About nine in the 
evening Old Tige, the largest of the 
dogs, came in Contact with a lamp 
post. The post was instantly fused 
off even with the ground and the gas 
became ignited, making a geyser of 
flame that shot a hundred feet heaven- 
ward. The dog died. Later in the 
night another one of the dogs ran 
against a barb-wire fence, killing ten 
head of stock four miles away. That 
dog also died. At daybreak there was 
a loud explosion in the outskirts of 
the town. It is thought that this came 
from a cat fight in which John L. par- 
ticipated. At any rate he has never 
been seen since and to-day only a pa- 
thetic hole in the ground marks his 
probable last battlefield. 

The remaining dog was captured at 
great peril to life, and turned over to 
Prof. Snooks for experimental pur- 
poses. By gradually drawing off the 
electrical charge by means of a con- 
denser, the Professor in a week's time 
reduced the dog's pressure to approxi- 
mately five thousand volts and then 
the animal was further discharged by 
hooking him up to the town arc light 
system of fifty lamps which he main- 
tained in the splendid effulgence of 
over two thousand candle power for a 
period of nine hours and eleven min- 
utes before his power ran down. 

Mr. Fosdick and Mr. Stetzle are now 
living on two insulated stools in the 
laboratory of Doolittle College. Their 
potential is dropping at the rate of 
ten volts a day, and Prof. Snooks has 
calculated that they must remain there 
for the next 957 years, three months 
and two days before being fully dis- 
charged. It seems a great pity. 
End 



383 



In Preparation: 



t P. Ser 



"A Columbus of Space. 
By Garr 
'The Martian Way," . 

By Capt. I-L G. Bishop, U. S. 
"Vanishing Movies," 

By Teddy G. Holir 
"Advanced Chemistry," 

By Jack G. Hucl: 



_.e Diamond Lens," 

By Fife- James O'Brien 
"The Second Deluge," 

By Garrett P. Serviss 
"Hick's Inventions with a Kick," 

By H, Simon 
"The White Gold Pirate," 

By Merlin Moore Taylor 
"The Purchase of the North Pole," 

By Jules Vtrtic 



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r 'he Eggs from 

Lake Tanganyika 

By CURT SlODMAK 
(Concluded) 



"Thirteen. Eleven are dead. The 
other two will never escape alive. They 
are fed up with the poison-gas." 

"Thank you." Meyer-Maier hung 
up the receiver. "Very well," he mur- 
mured, "now there can be no question 
of any danger, for each fly can only lay 
three or four eggs at once, — not a 
million." 

An immense weariness overcame 
him. He went into his bed-room and 
fell exhausted on his bed. "It is well 
that there is a supreme wisdom which 
controls the laws of nature. Other- 
wise the world would be subject to the 
strangest surprises." ' He thought of 
the monsters and crept anxiously under 
the. bed-clothes.' ''I'll entrust Schmidt- 
Schmitt with the investigation of the 
creature phenomenon, I simply can't 
stand further excitement." 

And sleep spread the mantel of well- 
deserved quiet over him. "' . . 

The End . . 



A Trip to the 
Center of the Earth 

By Jules Verne 
(Concluded) ' 



fire which made a magnet of the 
on in our raft, turned our compass 

"Ah!" cried the Professor, with a 
ad and ringing laugh, "it was .a 
ick of that inexplicable electreity." 
From that hour my uncle, was -the 
ippiest of learned men, and I the 
ppiest of ordinary mortals. For my 
etty Virland girl, abdicating' her 
sition as ward, took her place in the- 
■use in Konigstrasse in the' doable 
; ality of niece and wife. We need 
arcely mention that her unele was 
e illustrious Professor Hardwigg, 
^responding member of all t-he acien- 
ic, geographical, mineralogical and 
ological societies of the five quarters 
the globe. : ■ 

The End . •:■!,;■ 



The Magnetic Storm 

By Hugo Geknsback 
(Concluded) 



Retail 


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eillet dc Lcyde 
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Doctor Hackensaw'. 
Secrets 

By Jacques Morgan/ 
{Concluded) 



visible eyes. . A pair of spectacles, how- . 
ever, concealed this defect. 
, Fhessenden Keene fell in Iov3 with " 
Aura at first sight, and poor Pep was "- 
madly jealous, for in the whols-soul- " 
ed breezy westerner she had. at last *? 
found a man who had won her heart. % 
But she was a good girl and mana.;- V 
ed to conceal her feelings. She w.'..- r 
very good indeed to her -rival who ' 
evidently returned Kecne's affections. 
. Keene spent hours teaching Auri;. 
bow to speak, and also training her in 
the elements of civilization, for she* 
knew less than a child. ■ - & M 

Unfortunately, the climate of Now 
York did not agree with her. She who 
.in the tropics could stand a, dry 
of 120" F., suffered under a damp heatfj 
of 90° F and three months aftea 
arrival in the United States, she .W 
came ill, and in spitS of Doctor Hack?'' 
ensaw's strenuous efforts to save her| 
died. 

Keene was inconsolable for a : ibnj 
time, but some years later he m 
Pep, and the pair were very happy to- 
gether. Migg's heart almost broke r 
the time, for he was devoted to Pep, 
but he finally consoled himself with a 
peroxide blondeV,. 

As for Doctor Hackensaw, he lb still 
alive and still continues making his 
wonderful inventions. , : ' 

The End " v